Lakers End Two-Game Skid With Win Over Grizzlies

Two-game losing streaks are not something the Lakers have a lot of familiarity with, at least this season. And at home against a 15-win Grizzlies team, the slide certainly wasn't going to reach three. Behind a 31-point effort from Kobe Bryant, L.A. beat Memphis by a score of 99-89 at Staples Center.

The Lakers were coming off of back-to-back losses in Denver and Phoenix, and some home cooking against one of the worst teams in the league was just what the doctor ordered to right the proverbial ship. But it wasn't easy from wire to wire, and it took some time for L.A. to put this one away.

Memphis found themselves down by 13 after the first quarter, but managed to outscore the Lakers by eight in the second to get back in the game by halftime, trailing by just five points. But the Lakers increased their lead to as many as 12 points in the third quarter, before extending to an 18-point margin midway through the fourth, and comfortably ensuring the victory despite the Grizzlies' attempt at making the final score look respectable.

Kobe Bryant's 31 points on 12-of-23 shooting paced the Lakers, and no one else on the club finished with more than 13. Lamar Odom stayed out of the referees' way on Tuesday, and while he missed seven of his eight field goal attempts, he did contribute in other ways by grabbing 13 rebounds, dishing out eight assists, and blocking six shots.

The Lakers' bench finally had an okay game, but that's only if you eliminate the play of Trevor Ariza. Ariza had three rebounds and four steals on the night, but missing all six of his shot attempts and scoring just a single point in 23 minutes -- against the freaking Grizzlies -- simply isn't going to cut it.

L.A.'s game against Memphis featured the team wearing their "Los Lakers" jerseys in celebration of the league's Noche Latina event, which is "a program that recognizes the NBA's fans and players from across Latin America and U.S. Hispanic communities." It's not like the team's jerseys are normally emblazened with "The Lakers," so it's unclear where exactly the "Los" is coming from. There must be a Spanish translation for the word "lake" that might be more appropriate, no?

And yes, these are the things we're reduced to discussing after a Lakers' routine double-digit victory over the lowly Grizzlies. Thanks for asking.

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