Sunday's matchup at Staples Center was an anticipated battle between two teams jockeying for position in the Western Conference playoff chase. The Los Angeles Lakers have had matchup problems with the Memphis Grizzlies in recent years, splitting their last six meetings. But their matchup Sunday night at Staples Center took a turn earlier in the week when it was learned Zach Randolph would miss up to eight weeks with a torn MCL in his right knee.
Randolph was good for 20.4 points and 11.9 rebounds per game the last two years for Memphis, and has always given the Lakers a hard time. In his last 13 games against the Lakers, dating back to 2006, Randolph averaged 19.9 points and 10.9 rebounds. His absence will be felt by Memphis. The Grizzlies are 3-4 so far this season, including 1-3 on the road.
With no Randolph, Andrew Bynum looks to extend his streak of consecutive games with at least 12 rebounds to six games. Through five games so far this season, Bynum is averaging 19.6 points and 15.8 rebounds per game.
Kobe Bryant scored a season-high 39 points in Friday's win over the Golden State Warriors, and has scored at least 30 points in each of his last three games, averaging 35.3 points per game during that span. It is the longest streak of 30-point games for Bryant since he strung together six straight games from December 22, 2009 to January 1, 2010.
The Lakers have won five straight games at Staples Center, with only their bungling of a late lead against the Chicago Bulls on Christmas Day as a blemish on the home record this season. This is the second of a three-game homestand for the Lakers, who also host Phoenix on Tuesday.
Sunday night's 6:30 p.m. PST game will be televised by Fox Sports West. For more Lakers news and information, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.