(Sports Network) - The Memphis Grizzlies opened up their season-long five-game
homestand earlier this week with just their second loss of the season.
The Grizzlies now try to avoid putting together their first losing streak of
the campaign as they host the former face of their franchise Pau Gasol and his
Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night.
Memphis began the 2012-13 campaign with a road loss to the Los Angeles
Clippers, but responded with an eight-game winning streak that matched a
franchise record set from Jan. 11-25, 2004.
That run came to an end on Monday night as the Grizzlies dropped a 97-92
decision to the visiting Denver Nuggets, also halting Memphis' club-record 15-
game home winning streak. The Grizzlies dropped their first home contest in
the regular season since March 16 against the Toronto Raptors.
Rudy Gay had 22 points, Marc Gasol added 16 and Zach Randolph notched his 10th
double-double in as many games this season with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Randolph leads the NBA with 13.8 rebounds per game and is also averaging 16.7
"Today we got what we deserved. The last game we didn't play that well, but
the other team wasn't as talented as this team is. When you play with fire,
sometimes you get burned," Gasol said, referring to a 94-87 win at
Charlotte last Saturday.
Gasol was originally a second-round pick by the Lakers in 2007, but never
played for the franchise. He instead was part of a package that Los Angeles
sent to Memphis for Marc's brother Pau on Feb. 1, 2008.
Pau Gasol left the Grizzlies franchise as its all-time leader in 12
categories, including points, rebounds and blocks, and is averaging 15.5
points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists a game in 13 contests against his former
Marc Gasol has averaged 10.4 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 14
previous meetings with Los Angeles.
Like most of the Lakers roster, Pau Gasol didn't have his legs in Wednesday's
113-97 loss at the Sacramento Kings, which came one day after Los Angeles
bested the Brooklyn Nets in Mike D'Antoni's debut on the bench. Gasol and
Dwight Howard had just nine points each versus the Kings, with Gasol shooting
3-of-10 from the floor.
Kobe Bryant did his best to keep Los Angeles in the game by dropping a game-
high 38 points, but still saw his club's three-game win streak snapped.
"We have to play harder than we played tonight," said a frustrated Howard.
"It's tough to play through fatigue, but you have to find ways to stay
together and win games."
D'Antoni was coaching just his second game despite being hired on Nov. 12 to
replace Mike Brown. Recent knee replacement surgery had delayed his actual
taking over on the sidelines and Bernie Bickerstaff was guiding the team on an
interim basis following the firing of Brown on Nov. 9.
The Lakers won two of three versus the Grizzlies last season and have won
seven of their last nine trips to Memphis.
The Sports Network