Wow, what an exciting evening in FedEx Forum Saturday night. You knew that the Lakers were in town because the arena was packed and there was a lot of purple and gold in the crowd. It was great to see the Forum full of fans.
The game itself was a tale of two halfs. The first half was the Grizzlies half. The Lakers I believe were distracted by the injury to Bynum, more on that later. Everybody was playing well for the Grizzlies. O.J. and Rudy both came out aggressive and was shooting the ball well. The lakers were playing well, but weren't being aggressive on defense. There was one play where the ball was on the right side of the court. Kobe was standing on the left side just inside the 3 point line and was watching the ball, not aware that O.J. has slid into the corned. O.J. received the pass and drained the 3 with Kobe about 10 feet away.
The Grizzlies stumbled at the end of the first half by allowing the Lakers to cut a double digit lead down to 6 at the half. The second half continued the way the first half ended. The Lakers came out determined on defense and shut the Grizzlies down. After giving up 61 first half points, the Grizzlies only scored 37 in the second half. Kobe played some aggresive denial defense on O.J. so that he couldn't get his hands on the ball. The Grizzlies continued to fight but came up well short.
Interesting note about the Bynum injury. On January 13, 2008 in L.A., Bynum injuried his left knee against the Grizzlies and was out for the year. On January 31, 2009 in Memphis, Bynum injured his right knee. Interesting how you transpose the 13 to 31 and the location from L.A. to Memphis and it is the same player with the other knee getting injured again. I am guessing he will hope that the Lakers don't play the Grizzlies in January 2010. If they do, I recommend he take the night off.