We know that by now you know that Kobe Bryant went off for 53 points last night in a losing effort to -- drumroll please -- the powerhouse that is the Memphis Grizzlies. We could gush about how wonderful Kobe is, but you've heard that song before, and there is no shortage of other places to see that sort of commentary on this particular morning. That in mind, let's go with -- as the headline suggests -- three fun non-Kobe nuggets from the contest at Staples last night:
- Just call Lamar Odom "What Would Happen If Jason Kidd Was Reincarnated as a 6-10 Power Forward": 1-for-7 shooting, 2 points, 11 rebounds (3 offensive), 11 assists. Eerie, huh?
- Somehow, in the midst of a certain someone's 37-shot barrage (that included 17 three-point attempts), Sasha Vujacic managed to take 17 shots of his own, all but three of which came from beyond the arc. Yep, Sasha was one of three Lakers in double figures, thanks to his stirring 4-for-14 effort from deep. This, folks, is how you lose games against the Grizzlies.
- Rudy Gay did something I've only seen once before: After missing the first of a pair of free throws in the final seconds, he attempted to intentionally miss the second one...and failed. Gay was fouled with inside of a second left and the Grizzlies leading by two. He missed the first and, at the instruction of coach Marc Iavaroni, attempted to do the same with the second in order to force the Lakers to take more time off the clock before calling timeout. Instead, he sent a line drive right into the hoop, giving the Lakers a chance to call time-out and take the ball out at half court down by three with nine-tenths of a second left. Back in November 2004, Antoine Walker, then with the Hawks, missed the first of two with his team trailing the Knicks by two and time waning, thus necessitating a miss on the second attempt. Walker then failed to do anything but hit bottom of the net, and the Knicks ran out the clock for a one-point victory. Fortunately for Gay, the Lakers never got a shot off, and the Grizz walked away with a three-point win, thus making his unfortunately successful free throw rather inconsequential. But fun to note nonetheless.