Just call them the Road Warriors. No need to call on Mad Max when you’ve got a bloody Ron Artest rampaging through Memphis. Tonight, the Lake Show overcame their Memphis blues by handing the Grizzlies a 93-84 loss. But this was anything but a thing of beauty.
Truth be told, the Lakers really had no business beating Memphis on their homecourt. They played sloppy offense as those 14 turnovers – 6 by Kobe alone – will attest. Let’s not even talk about the woeful 60% they shot from the foul line.
Somehow, there they were, with a 12 point lead in the third. Then, those all too familiar problems began to emerge as the Grizzlies ripped off 9 in a row. The lead shrank and it looked like another loss for D-Fish in his quasi-homecoming.
But a funny thing happened on the way to another pathetic loss. Marc Gasol ‘accidentally’ bloodied Ron Artest and a fire was lit. Ok, so I don’t want to make it seem like Ron Ron got cut and then took a chunk of flesh out of the Grizzlies. Make no mistake though the last twelve minutes were highlighted by smothering defense as the Lakers harassed Memphis to the point where Rudy Gay got a tech after being stripped clean by Mamba.
Holding Memphis to just 16 points in the final frame would be more than enough to seal the deal. While there was next to nothing to talk about on the offensive end of the court, Lamar Odom earned himself the game ball. The 6th man turned fragrance salesman did work in the fourth grabbing boards, going to the hoop and hitting a momentum changing three en route to 15 and 11 in 30 minutes on the court.
Again, watching this game was about as enjoyable as watching Oliver Miller getting his prostate checked but hey…it was a win and a win built on the back of some inspired defense. Two wins on the first two stops on the road have the Lakers in a much better place for their rematch with the Celtics. Now, its a couple days off to rest and prepare for another shot at redemption.