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 Bryant keys late rally to help Lakers beat Memphis

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PostSubject: Bryant keys late rally to help Lakers beat Memphis   Tue Dec 23, 2008 6:37 pm

MEMPHIS, Tenn.(AP) Kobe Bryant rescued the Los Angeles Lakers from a third straight loss.Bryant
scored 36 points and keyed a late rally to help the Los Angeles Lakers
snap a two-game losing streak with a 105-96 victory over the Memphis
Grizzlies on Monday night.The Lakers trailed by 93-88 with 3:08
left, but closed the game on a 17-3 run, including 10 points from
Bryant to overtake the Grizzlies down the stretch. His breakaway dunk
as the horn sounded put an exclamation point on the Lakers' win."We
know what we want to do,'' Bryant said of the Lakers' late play against
the young Grizzlies. "For a young team, they are still kind of
searching for what that identity is going to be."For us, we've been there, done that. So, it's just a matter of how well we executed.''Bryant was 14-of-23 from the field, part of Los Angeles shooting 54 percent on the night."Obviously,
Kobe hit a big shot, and we never really responded to that,'' said Rudy
Gay, who led Memphis with 23 points. "I think we took a stride, but
then again, you can't be happy with a loss.''Pau Gasol had 15
points, seven rebounds and had six assists in his return to Memphis.
Gasol played six-plus seasons with the Grizzlies before being traded to
Los Angeles in February. Part of the trade included his brother, Marc,
going to the Grizzlies."Somebody had to lose tonight, right?''
Gasol said. "I'm happy we came out victorious because we needed this
win extremely bad to continue to pursue our goals. But I'm sorry that
on the losing end were the Grizzlies and my brother.''Gasol is
the Grizzlies franchise leader in 12 statistical categories, including
points, rebounds and blocks, and the only All-Star in Grizzlies history
(2006).He was met with a mixture of cheers and boos in the
pregame introductions. Later, when the Grizzlies presented a video
tribute during a timeout, the boos were louder.Rudy Gay led Memphis with 23 points, while O.J. Mayo scored 22 and had six assists.Andrew Bynum had 13 points and Lamar Odom finished with 12.The
game was close throughout without either team building a lead of more
than eight through the first three quarters. The Lakers had lost their
last two games on the road - at Miami and Orlando - by a total of five
points."We battled for three and a half quarters,'' Memphis
coach Marc Iavaroni. "Unfortunately, 3 1/2 quarters isn't enough to
beat the Lakers. We didn't play very well down the stretch.''Memphis
led 57-49 at the half and couldn't pull away in the third quarter. The
two teams got testy as Marc Gasol and Bryant drew technicals. Odom
would also draw one for arguing a no-call later in the half.The two teams exchanged leads late in the third period before Memphis carried an 80-77 lead into the fourth quarter.Notes:
Monday was the final game of a season-long five-game homestand for the
Grizzlies. After winning the first two, Memphis lost three straight.
... Earlier in the day, the Lakers announced that a pair of doctors had
confirmed Jordan Farmar suffered a torn lateral meniscus and will need
surgery. He could be sidelined for eight weeks.

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