Lakers lose on last-minute shot to Memphis
This time, however, the Lakers lost, 95-93, to the Grizzlies on Monday night at FedEx Forum.
The Lakers lost after Kobe Bryant (44 points), who went into the Lakers’ record books, was double teamed and forced to pass to Ron Artest.
Artest (18 points) missed what could have been a game-winning three-pointer as time expired.
That meant the Lakers finished their trip with a 5-3 record, something Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said would be a “so-so” trip if that happened.
The Lakers knew this wouldn’t be easy. The Grizzlies were 17-6 at home entering the game and had won 11 of their last 12 games at FedEx Forum.
On a dunk with 4:14 left in the third quarter, Bryant passed Lakers legend Jerry West (25,192 points) to become the franchise’s all-time leading scorer.
Bryant, who is 14th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, now has 25,208 points during his 14-year career.
Jackson remained tied with Pat Riley for the most coaching wins in franchise history with 533.
Lamar Odom suffered a sprained right index finger in the third quarter, but continued to play.
The Lakers found themselves in another close game, their second straight. A Derek Fisher 19-foot jumper with 2:11 left tied the score at 88-88.
The Lakers played good defense and got the ball back again, but Fisher missed a 20-foot jumper this time.
Zach Randolph made a jumper to beat the 24-second clock with 1:08 left for a 90-88 Memphis lead.
But the officials called a timeout to review the play to see it Randolph made a three-pointer or a two-pointer. It was ruled a two-pointer.
Odom missed a layup, but Pau Gasol got the rebound and passed out to Bryant, who missed a three-pointer. Odom then was called for going over the back of Randolph.
Randolph made both free throws for a 92-88 Memphis lead.
Bryant drove for a layup to bring the Lakers to within two, 92-90, but Rudy Gay made a three-pointer to make the score 95-90.
But Bryant came right back, making a three-pointer to pull the Lakers to within 95-93 with 23.2 seconds left.
-- Broderick Turner
Photo: Grizzlies center Marc Gasol squares off against his brother, power forward Pau Gasol of the Lakers, during the first half Monday night. Credit: Mark Weber / Associated Press