Kobe leads Lakers past Grizz for 4th straight win
LOS ANGELES—Kobe Bryant scored all of his 23 points in the first half, Pau Gasol had 21 points and 13 rebounds against his 7-foot-1 kid brother, and the Los Angeles Lakers routed the Memphis Grizzlies 124-105 on Tuesday night for their fourth straight win to open the season.
Lamar Odom had 17 points and eight rebounds for unbeaten Los Angeles, while Bryant fell one minute short of matching Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the Lakers' franchise leader in minutes played because he sat out the fourth quarter.
Rudy Gay scored 30 points and Mike Conley had 16 points and eight assists after agreeing to a five-year, $40 million contract extension earlier Tuesday with the Grizzlies, who opened a four-game road trip with their fourth straight road loss to the two-time champions.
Gasol had another strong game after winning the season's first player-of-the-week award, adding five assists while matching up down low with his brother, Marc, who had 11 points and eight rebounds for Memphis. The brothers famously were part of the same trade that sent Pau to the Lakers three seasons ago.
Matt Barnes added 16 points as the Lakers hit 14 3-pointers, including three apiece by Bryant, Odom and Shannon Brown, who scored 13 points.
Bryant claims his right knee is fully functional after offseason surgery, even if coach Phil Jackson disagrees, and the finals MVP is off to a strong start in his 15th season with the Lakers, the most in franchise history. Bryant passed Jerry West to become the Lakers' career scoring leader last season, and he'll pass Abdul-Jabbar atop the Lakers' list of games played if he appears in 73 regular-season contests.
But Bryant was just one part of another fluid effort by the Lakers, one of three remaining unbeaten teams in the NBA after outrebounding Memphis 59-36.
Just as in Sunday's win over Golden State, Los Angeles opened with fluid offense and strong defense, forcing the Grizzlies to miss their first nine shots. The Lakers led by 11 points at the close of the first quarter, and punched it to 29 points while outscoring Memphis 39-23 in the second.
Odom's 3-pointer put the Lakers up 53-28 midway through the second quarter, and they led 73-46 at halftime -- their highest-scoring half since a win over the Clippers on Jan. 15.
Memphis trimmed the lead to 14 points midway through the third quarter after a lengthy run featuring 13 points from Gay, but the Grizzlies got never threatened to make it a game.
NOTES: Odom scored his 11,000th career point, becoming the 10th-fastest player in NBA history to reach 11,000 points, 6,000 rebounds and 3,000 assists. ... Earlier Tuesday, Bryant told coach Mike Krzyzewski he's committed to playing for the U.S. national team at the London Olympics in 2012. ... Memphis big man Zach Randolph was inactive with a bruised tailbone. He could return during the road trip. "That's a bad place to have an injury," coach Lionel Hollins said before the game. "You don't realize how much you move that tailbone when you're playing and doing things." ... Fans near courtside included singer Trey Songz, David Beckham and director Adam McKay.