Howard leaves early in Lakers loss

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 23, 2013
Darrell Arthur scored 20 points and Mike Conley added 19 as the Memphis Grizzlies beat Los Angeles 106-93 Wednesday night, handing the Lakers' their fourth straight loss and 10th in 12 games. Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni had talked before the game about how having an All-Star team with players not having learned their pecking order. Yet Los Angeles lost its seventh consecutive road game, and center Dwight Howard missed the second half after aggravating his sore shoulder in the first half. Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph and Tony Allen added 12 points apiece as Memphis improved to 12-0 when scoring at least 100 points. Randolph also grabbed 10 rebounds. The Grizzlies had a 60-34 edge in the paint with Howard out the second half. Kobe Bryant scored 29 points for the Lakers, Metta World Peace added 15, Pau Gasol 13 and Earl Clark 11. Los Angeles came in as the NBA's fifth-best scoring team, averaging 102.6 points. But it was the Grizzlies topping 100 points for the first time since Jan. 11 against the Spurs, and they scored their most points since getting 113 against Sacramento on Jan. 7. The Grizzlies had a short bench after trading three players to the Cavaliers on Tuesday, only getting Jon Leuer back in a move freeing up Memphis from the luxury tax. But the paperwork hadn't cleared on the physicals of the trio going to Cleveland in time to have him available against the Lakers. Then Marc Gasol, Randolph, Hamed Haddadi and Bayless all picked up two fouls each in the first quarter. That forced coach Lionel Hollins to rotate his Grizzlies to keep them fresh, and rookie Tony Wroten, who has gotten most of his playing time in the D-League in Reno this season, had a career-best nine points by halftime. The Lakers started quickly, scoring the first six points of the game and forced four turnovers. They looked like they had listened to D'Antoni's plea for better defense. But they last led 30-28 on a 15-footer by Pau Gasol with 9 minutes left in the second quarter. Conley answered with a 9-foot runner to tie it up, and that started a 22-5 run as the Grizzlies took the lead for good. Conley capped the spurt with a fast-break layup with 4:25 left in the first half for a 50-35 lead. Both teams shot better than 50 percent in the first half, but the Grizzlies led 59-50 at halftime. They led by as much as 21 in the second half and finished with a 27-3 edge on second-chance points. They outrebounded the Lakers 52-34, including 16 offensive rebounds. Meanwhile, Howard was 0 of 4 from the floor and headed to the locker room with 2:21 left in the first half, flexing his right shoulder. He had been probable with a torn labrum and had a very physical first half against Gasol and Haddadi. The Lakers got within 61-58 on a 14-footer by Bryant with 8:57 left in the third. That was as close as they would get as their woes worsened when Steve Nash, who came in a perfect 26 of 26 at the free throw line, missed his second attempt of the night with 3:07 left in the third. Notes: Gay tied Pau Gasol as the Grizzlies' franchise leader in games played with 476 ... D'Antoni, told at least he didn't have to worry about coaching the All-Star game this season, joked, ''just barely missed it by 30 games.'' ... Memphis had gone six straight games since last topping 100 points, and the Grizzlies needed overtime to do that against the Spurs. ... Memphis had a 43-29 scoring edge from the bench. ... Nash finished with eight assists but six turnovers.
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