LA Lakers’ Kobe Bryant and defense absent in 112-95 loss to Memphis

first_img“When we get to the point where everything is a reaction, we’ll be a much better defensive team,” Scott said. “Every time the ball moves, our guys aren’t where they should be.” It appears unlikely Bryant’s return will fix that. But he will likely score more than the two points on 2-of-7 shooting that rookie forward Anthony Brown offered in his place. Clarkson also posted only eight points on 4-of-16 shooting, marking the first time in 27 games.Scott reported the Lakers did not become aware of Bryant’s increased pain in his right shoulder until he alerted head athletic trainer Gary Vitti at about 2 p.m. on Friday. That leaves Bryant with four days to recover before the Lakers next play against Brooklyn on Tuesday at Staples Center.“It’s just about getting that thing as manageable as possible hopefully where he feels no pain,” Scott said. “He does a real good job of taking care of himself. That’s nothing we worry about. When he says he’s ready, he’s ready.”If only the Lakers could say the same thing about their defense. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The Lakers (11-49) allowed Memphis (34-23) to score 50 points in the paint, 23 fast-break points and feature six double-figure scorers. This happened two days after the Lakers provided an open layup line for Memphis. This happened 60 games in which the Lakers made minimal defensive progress, ranking 28th out of 30 NBA teams in total points allowed (107.1).“I thought we could’ve been better than we are right now,” Scott said. “I know with the youth we had it would take time. But as a coach you want it to come a whole lot faster than it probably normally will come.”The Lakers finished nearly as poorly last season, with a 29th ranking that yielded 105.3 points per game. But with a 7-foot-2 Roy Hibbert, a healthy Julius Randle and a promising backcourt (D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson), the Lakers anticipated at least relative improvement. “I thought our guards would do a better job of keeping their guys in front of them,” Scott said. “We haven’t done a very good job of that. They know they have to get better at that. Our backline defense has to do a better job of reacting. It’s not one particular thing. That one particular thing leads to five or six things.”All of which made the Lakers’ offensive production, led by Russell (22 points), Randle (17) and Lou Williams (13), pointless. Russell and Randle also sat out the entire fourth quarter.center_img The video tributes and standing ovations have played like a continuous loop. Kobe Bryant has greeted each opposing venue with warmth and nostalgia after those fans once welcomed him with boos.But after the Lakers took a three-game trip with stops Bryant visited for the last time, that farewell tour did not continue immediately back to Los Angeles. Bryant missed the Lakers’ 112-95 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday at Staples Center because of increased soreness in his right shoulder.“It might have been one of those days where he slept wrong, woke up and it was a little sore,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said.It also became one of many days where the Lakers did nothing defensively. Several of the 18,997 fans booed early in the fourth quarter. One exasperated Lakers fan near press row screamed out an expletive. And the ESPN telecast captured Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak showing displeasure over the wreckage. last_img read more