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Fisher's hot shooting helps Lakers rout Grizzlies

Jan 9, 2008 - 4:57 AM By Shawn Pachucki PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- The Memphis Grizzlies are accustomed to seeing Kobe Bryant have big games in their home arena, but Derek Fisher dished up a surprise dose of serious offense Tuesday night at FedEx Forum.

The veteran point guard burned the Grizzlies for a season-high 26 points on 10-of-11 shooting to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 117-101 victory over the Grizzlies.

Bryant, who scored 60 in his last visit to Memphis last season, added 25 points for the Lakers, who are winners of six of their last eight road games and 13 of 16 overall.

"(Fisher) was great," Bryant said. "He's great in this system. He knows how to play it. He's worked hard and he's added a lot of stability to our ball club."

Fisher beat the Grizzlies' rookie point guard Mike Conley Jr. repeatedly, finding his way for open jumpers and long range shots all night. The veteran finished 5-of-5 from 3-point range.

He connected on his first five shot attempts, three of which came from behind the arc, while the Lakers jumped out to a 39-23 advantage after the opening quarter behind a blistering 56 percent shooting clip.

"There's no way to plan on shooting the basketball the way I did tonight. It just happens for you," Fisher said. "In the business, people expect you to play well, and it doesn't always happen that way. But it feels good."

Fisher and Bryant combined for 25 points in the period, 17 of which came during a 20-6 stretch that closed the quarter. The duo later posted 16 total points in the third to help the Lakers maintain control of a game in which they never trailed.

"Every time they managed to cut into our lead a little bit, we were able to stretch it back out pretty quickly, and that's really a key for us," Bryant said.

Playing away from Staples Center for the first time since December 23, Los Angeles benefited from solid defense, holding the Grizzlies to 44 percent (41-of-93) shooting, including just 6-of-19 from 3-point range.

Los Angeles shot 53 percent (48-of-91) from the field but was outrebounded, 49-41. The Lakers overcame that by converting 20 Grizzlies' turnovers into 24 points.

"You have to stop somebody to get in the flow. We didn't get any stops," said Memphis guard Mike Miller, who had 19 points to go with eight rebounds and six assists. "It all falls back on our defense."

Pau Gasol added 18 points and 12 rebounds - his 12th double-double of the season and 10th straight against Los Angeles - and Rudy Gay finished with 15 points for the Grizzlies, who have alternated wins and losses in their first four games of the new year after losing their last five in December.

"They played like a team involved in a division race - very together and with a purpose," Grizzlies coach Marc Iavaroni said. "Maybe there was an aura about them. We had five guys who didn't think they (could) compete."

Bryant made just 8-of-22 shots but frequently found his way to the free-throw line, where he hit 8-of-11 attempts.

Reserves Jordan Farmar and Trevor Ariza turned in efficient performances in limited action, with most of their production coming with the game in hand for Los Angeles. Farmar netted 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting and Ariza ended with nine points on 4-of-8.

After the Lakers built a 26-point cushion early in the second quarter, Miller hit back-to-back jumpers to spark a 16-4 spurt over the final 4:25 of the half, trimming the deficit to 61-47 entering the break.

Los Angeles then reeled off nine unanswered points to start the second half and never allowed the Grizzlies to get any closer the rest of the way.

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