Nobody really thought the L.A. Lakers would start their turnaround by winning a road contest against the rugged Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday night, but it would have been reasonable to expect L.A. to at least put up a fight.
Instead, the Lakers got absolutely crushed on the glass, failed to defend the paint and played offense like a bunch of strangers en route to a 106-93 loss that wasn't even as close as the final score would seem to indicate.
The defeat was the Lakers' fourth straight overall and seventh consecutive loss on the road. And the gory details of this one certainly don't point to any impending end to the team's misery.
Memphis shot 49 percent from the field, out-rebounded L.A. by a margin of 52-34 and scored a ridiculous 60 points in the paint. At times, it seemed like every Memphis bucket came easily, as the Grizzlies repeatedly traipsed down the lane for uncontested dunks and layups. Of course, even when they missed those looks, the Grizzlies inhaled offensive rebounds for simple putbacks.
L.A. has now lost 10 out of 12 in the month of January, and with Dwight Howard going down with an injury to the same shoulder that sidelined him earlier this year, things could get much worse before they get better.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with an empty 29 points, but he and his teammates basically flat-lined on defense and (obviously) on the glass. L.A. fell to 17-25 with the loss.
Prepare for some pretty ugly grades, folks. This was not a pretty performance.