Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins turned to the starting lineup he’s used the most, re-inserting Marreese Speights in place of returning power forward Zach Randolph.
The move helped the otherwise lost Grizzlies head back in the right direction with a 102-96 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night in the Staples Center.
Memphis ended a three-game skid and avoided being swept on its four-game road trip. With a willing Randolph playing off the bench, the Griz displayed a renewed spirit and played arguably their most cohesive basketball on both ends of the court in a week.
“Our starters came out and played with a lot of heart and passion,” Hollins said.
The Griz hadn’t looked this sharp or scrappy since a March 13 double-overtime loss at home to the Lakers. They were without Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph for that game. This time, Gay’s scoring led the Grizzlies’ early charge and Randolph was a force late.
Randolph made 4 of 5 shots and grabbed five of his 12 rebounds in the fourth quarter. The veteran forward didn’t seem to mind coming off the bench, citing a need to work on his conditioning.
— Reported by Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal