Memphis Grizzlies and Zach Randolph Beat LA Lakers, 89-86


Nov 15, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph (50) goes up for a shot against the Los Angeles Lakers during the second quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Your Memphis Grizzlies beat the Los Angeles Lakers 89-86 behind Zach Randolph’s herculean fourth quarter performance. Randolph carried the Grizzlies, scoring 28 points on 11-18 (61.11%) shooting and 11 rebounds. Marc Gasol also had 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists. Mike Conley struggled with only 11 points on just over 20% shooting. Jodie Meeks led the Lakers with 25 points and 5 3-pointers.

This was a fairly ugly late game in LA, as both teams struggled mightily to score — a trademark of this Grizzlies team, but of this years’ squad in particular. This was a close game from beginning to end, and it was one of those games that may not have gone the Grizzlies way if there was only one or two small, bad bounces, or if Zach Randolph hadn’t have gone completely nuts at the end of the game.

The first quarter looked pretty good for the Grizzlies, to the extent that these Grizzlies have looked good at all. The Grizzlies scored 24 in the first, an astronomical number for them so far this season, it seems like, and led the Lakers by seven. Shooting percentages were low, but manageable, and the offense was flowing through everybody. It wasn’t gorgeous, but it would do.

The second quarter was far less attractive. By the end of the second, the Lakers had tied up the game 40-40, and the Grizzlies looked bad. Again. It’s still early in the season, but I’m officially in panic mode. This is very not good. At the end of the half, the Grizzlies were shooting an embarrassing 38% to the Lakers’ 41% (also bad), and they were only out-rebounding a pathetic Lakers frontcourt by 2 rebounds. They hadn’t even forced many turnovers, and the entire reason that the Grizzlies were still tied was their free throw advantage. They outperformed the Lakers at the line, making 8 FT’s to the Lakers’ 2.

The third quarter was really back and forth game as both teams traded off leads, and it was all about Marc Gasol. Marc scored 10 of his 18 points in the 3rd quarter, along with many of his assists, and he took control attempting to give the Grizzlies the lead. Nonetheless, the team looked sluggish and awkward and they ended the quarter trailing by 3.

The fourth quarter was a massive struggle for the Grizz. The Grizzlies and the Lakers traded buckets on trips down the court, and the Grizzlies were doing all that they could to survive against this Lakers team. Zach Randolph was absolutely on fire at the end of the game, and he single handedly carried the Grizzlies in this game.

Randolph hit 4 shots in a row late in the fourth, a jump hook, an open midrange jumper, a beautiful layup on a drop step, and a tough fadeaway to put the Grizzlies 2 points ahead with 2 minutes left. In pure Grizzlies fashion, Randolph then hit a cutting Marc Gasol for an assist that would give the Grizzlies a ton of momentum with 1:45 left in the 4th.

Holy crap what an end to this game, though. After Gasol’s cut, making the lead 4, Jodie Meeks gets a wide open corner 3 as Quincy Pondexter is caught ball watching, and the lead is cut to just 1. But then, Z-BO WAS BACK, and he wanted this win! Randolph faced up Jordan Hill, got him off balance, and put in a beautiful, tough, off balance finger roll to make the lead 3 with 15 seconds left in the game. Steve Blake missed an inbounds three, and it was all over but the shouting.

Randolph carried Memphis to the 89-84 win over Los Angeles.

Random Notes and Takeaways

  • Marc was pretty good for the first half of the game, and very nearly had a triple double tonight, but…he still seems really off. It’s quite concerning. He’s out of position surprisingly often on defense, especially when it comes to cutting off the right angles to stop the other team. He did almost have a triple double, but he only scored 2 points in the entire fourth quarter and he only shot 40% from the floor. In addition to the defensive issues (which are very not good) he’s more content to play on the perimeter on offense, which more than anything, just makes me sad.
  • Seriously, is there any player in the NBA who’s more of a Memphis Grizzly at heart than Zach Randolph? Probably not, right? He really did grind out this game, and that’s awesome.
  • I’m glad that the Grizzlies got this win, but they do look bad. They just look bad. I’ll have more on this tomorrow, but wow. Really worrisome. Offense and defense are bad. Yikes.
  • Also, it seemed like the Grizzlies were only capable of scoring when they were in transition or in the post. Halfcourt offense is hilariously atrocious. No one is ever running. It’s sad.
  • The Grizzlies shot 7.7% from 3 today. So that’s not good.