The Los Angeles Lakers lost for the eighth straight game and recorded their 49th loss of a season that is only 60 games old.
This time, the Memphis Grizzlies came to Staples Center and absolutely pummeled a Lakers' team that was without Kobe Bryant, 112-95, after the 37-year-old felt soreness in his shoulder. In Bryant's absence, an elderly 39-year-old stole the show in LA. Vince Carter would make his first five shots and lead the Grizzlies with 15 points in the first half.
At that stage, Memphis had already tasted a 22-point lead, though that advantage would be cut to 17 points by the time the halftime buzzer sounded. Considering the Lakers' record, even the die-hard Laker fans had to have a tough convincing themselves a comeback was possible.
In the third quarter, the Lakers eliminated all doubts when they fell behind by 28 points. A comeback would not be forthcoming and only the final score remained in doubt. LA had stunk up the building and ruined yet another Friday night in Los Angeles.
Local news from across Southern California
About the only positive performance worth mentioning came via 20-year-old Lakers rookie D'Angelo Russell. The former Ohio State Buckeye finished with 22 points on 6-9 shooting in 30 minutes of play, all of which came during the first three quarters of play.
Russell would not play in the fourth quarter because, truly, there was no point. Instead, Marcelo Huertas, Robert Sacre and Ryan Kelly came into the game. It was over. In a season of depressing losses, this one seemed to hurt more and involved more jeering than usual. Bryant's absence didn't help, obviously, but the performance deserved the criticism.
The Lakers looked awful and fell to 11-49 on the season. Next, LA hosts the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night.
Notes: Carter finished with 19 points in 20 minutes. Julius Randle finished with 17 points and seven rebounds in 24 minutes on the court.