The road troubles for the Los Angeles Lakers continued as they were beaten 106-98 by the Grizzlies in Memphis on Friday.
The Lakers dropped to 0-4 on the road and 6-7 on the season as the Grizzlies (9-2) continued their early season impressive form.
The Grizzlies, who are the top team in the Western Conference, were ruthless early and led 34-18 at the end of the first quarter, then refused to be run down, producing a team effort where all five starters scored double-figure points.
Rudy Gay top-scored for Memphis with 21 points, while Zach Randolph added 17 and 12 rebounds for his 11th successive double-double, with Mike Conley (19 points), Marc Gasol (14) and Tony Allen (12) also contributing to the victory.
Kobe Bryant scored a game-high 30 points and Metta World Peace and Antawn Jamison added 16 each for the Lakers, who battled to be as close as six behind in the final quarter, but could not complete the fightback.
Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni is trying to implement a faster, more high-powered offence, but is facing a few early teething problems.
“We need to be in a little bit better shape, were going to start running more,” he said.
D’Antoni left Pau Gasol on the bench for the final quarter, leaving the Spaniard with just six points for the Lakers, well behind the performance of his younger brother on the other end of the court.
CELTICS 108, THUNDER 100
Paul Pierce scored 22 of his 27 points in the second half and Boston beat Oklahoma City to snap a two-game losing streak.
Kevin Garnett had 18 points and nine rebounds, and Rajon Rondo finished with 16 assists and eight rebounds for the Celtics.
Kevin Durant scored 29 points for Oklahoma City, which lost for just the second time in its last 10 games. Russell Westbrook had 26 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, and Serge Ibaka added 17 points and 13 rebounds.
NETS 86, CLIPPERS 76
Brook Lopez had 26 points, including consecutive baskets during the decisive stretch, and Brooklyn shut down Los Angeles in the fourth quarter.
Brooklyn outscored Los Angeles 23-13 during a final period in which Chris Paul had no points, one assist and six fouls. Deron Williams did not have a great game either, but he improved to 14-4 in the longtime rivalry between two of the NBA’s top point guards.
Joe Johnson added 19 points for the Nets. They limited the Clippers to 29 points in the second half and got back on track after losing the final two games of a six-game trip.
Paul and Blake Griffin each had 14 points for the Clippers. They have dropped two in a row following a six-game winning streak.
In other play, it was:
‧ Spurs 104, Pacers 97
‧ Nuggets 102, Warriors 91
‧ Suns 111, Hornets 108, OT
‧ Trail Blazers 103, Timber-
‧ Hawks 101, Bobcats 91
‧ Magic 108, Cavaliers 104
‧ Jazz 104, Kings102
‧ Pistons 91, Raptors 90