The Los Angeles Lakers lost by a wide margin on Sunday, 112-96.
This time, the Memphis Grizzlies claimed the victory, and the purple and gold fell to 5-26 to continue a depressingly poor start to the season. While the game hardly seemed in doubt at any stage past the first quarter, the second quarter featured the Grizzlies jumping out to a double-digit margin and never looking back. Memphis led wire-to-wire and did not have to worry about extending minutes on the second night of a back-to-back.
LA started with Kobe Bryant scoring 14 points in the first 12 minutes, but LA still could not keep up. The Lakers failed to provide any defensive resistance and proceeded to get mauled in a yawn-fest of a game. Bryant only played 24 minutes and finished with 19 points to claim game-high honors.
The lone bright spot in another dark night on the Lakers' season proved to be rookie Larry Nance Jr. Nance hit eight of his 12 shots to record 17 points, 11 rebounds and two steals in 25 minutes. The 22-year-old rookie set new career-highs in points, rebounds, field goals and field goal attempts, and he tied his career-high in steals.
While the Lakers' fan base has been highly critical of Julius Randle being replaced by Nance in the starting lineup, the rookie has slowly grown in confidence and greatly benefited from his extra opportunities with the starting unit. Like never before, Nance did not shy away from the open 10-15-foot jump shot, which is a positive sign for the youngster.
Get today's sports news out of Los Angeles. Here's the latest on the Dodgers, Lakers, Angels, Kings, Galaxy, LAFC, USC, UCLA and more LA teams.
Beyond Nance, though, the Lakers did not offer much of anything worth talking about.
Notes: Bryant left and went back to the locker room in the fourth quarter. His shoulder was heavily wrapped with ice. The Lakers trailed by 16 points at that stage in the game.