Daniels scores career-best 31 to lead Grizzlies past Lakers

Dec 04, 2016 | by usatoday.com

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Memphis Grizzlies coach David Fizdale refers to the remaining members of his injury-plagued squad as the Nasty Nine.

On Saturday night, it was Troy Daniels turn to fill the void for the short-handed Grizzlies.

Daniels scored a career-high 31 points, and the Grizzlies hung on for a 103-100 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers after Julius Randle three free throws with 5.9 seconds left.

Daniels shot 12 of 23 from the field, including 6 of 12 from outside the arc. Marc Gasol had 19 points while JaMychal Green finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds as Memphis won its second straight.

"I was just taking what the defense gave me," Daniels said. "And my teammates helped me get into those spots."

Lou Williams scored a season-best 40 points for the Lakers. Luol Deng added 18, and Timofy Mozgov had with 13.

"It just flowed," Williams said about his shooting. "It was just one of those games."

Memphis pulled away in a tight game with a 9-2 burst that erased a 95-94 Lakers lead in the final 5 minutes.

Williams converted a three-point play with 51 seconds remaining to pull the Lakers within one possession. They then had a chance to tie when Gasol fouled Randle on a 3-point attempt.

After Randle missed the third free throw, there was a scramble for the ball, and Jordan Clarkson hurled up a 3-pointer from the right corner that was off the mark.

"They made the little plays," Lakers coach Luke Walton said about Memphis. "Down the stretch, they got to a couple of loose balls that they turned into big plays."

Both teams were short-handed with injuries, particularly in the backcourt. Starters D'Angelo Russell and Nick Young already were out for the Lakers and Jose Calderon, who started, left in the first quarter with a right hamstring strain.

The Lakers held a 62-54 lead into the break.

But Memphis opened the second half with a 10-4 run, and the game settled into a close affair with 17 lead changes, nine of them in the fourth quarter.

Memphis forward Tony Allen said Memphis came out a different team after intermission thanks to Fizdale's halftime speech.

"He's not going to sugarcoat anything," Allen said. "He came in and gave us a scolding, and the guys responded."