Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins looked at his bench, and what he had to play with was a modern-day version of a Rubik's Cube.
He twisted and turned his rotation, looking for solid combinations early and often during the Grizzlies' 106-93 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night in FedExForum.
Memphis, playing with a roster depleted by a three-for-one trade Tuesday with Cleveland, wasn't short on effort.
Nothing epitomized the Grizzlies' determination more than a sequence four minutes into the fourth quarter. There was a mad scramble on the Grizzlies' end of the court in which Rudy Gay and Jerryd Bayless each dived for a loose ball.
The Lakers came away with possession and sprinted on a two-on-one fast break, with Kobe Bryant appearing to have an easy layup. However, Griz rookie Tony Wroten flew in and swatted the shot.
Bryant went berserk and drew a technical foul.
Griz reserve forward Darrell Arthur took over from there. He sandwiched a pair of layups around a steal as the Griz took a 93-76 lead to the delight of a crowd announced at 17,984.
Hollins' unusual lineup combinations and having just 10 players dressed and available didn't matter. The Griz controlled the game in every facet after building a double-digit lead midway through the second period.
"The success was our effort and commitment to each other," Hollins said. "We defended, we got steals, we ran out and executed on the break. It was a total team effort overall."
Arthur led the Griz with a season-high 20 points; Mike Conley added 19. Randolph added to his NBA-high double-double total with 12 points and 10 rebounds to help the Griz dominate the boards 52-34.
Coach Lionel Hollins coaxes short-handed Grizzlies to rout of Lakers
Memphis Commercial Appeal | Jan 24