LA Lakers (35-16) at Memphis (27-25)

By NOEY KUPCHAN, STATS Writer Sunday, Feb 6, 2011 Tipoff: 8:00 pm EST Mon Feb 7, 2011

Pau Gasol(notes) came through with a tremendous effort as the Los Angeles Lakers kicked off their seven-game road trip.

Los Angeles could use a repeat performance from Gasol as it tries to avoid a third consecutive loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night.

The Lakers (35-16) had dropped three of four prior to defeating New Orleans 101-95 on Saturday night thanks in large part to a season-high 34 points and 10 rebounds from Gasol.

Kobe Bryant(notes), who added 32 points and nine rebounds, had wanted to see Gasol become more assertive on offense and was pleased with the results.

“I’m always in attack mode and it’s my responsibility to recognize things on the team that can help us,” said Bryant. “I felt like it was time to kind of have a talk with him and tell him it’s OK to be selfish because that’s really what we need from him.

“He has the skill to do it. I think it was just more of a mindset more than anything. He’s such a nice person. He wants other guys to be involved…but that’s not necessarily what’s best for our team.”

Bryant is averaging 31.8 points over his last five games overall, and 33.5 in his last 15 matchups with Memphis.

Los Angeles improved to 12-2 when scoring at least 100 points on the road.

“Some of it is about coming on the road, being together, and having this type of a crowd like we had (Saturday),” coach Phil Jackson said. “It was a big crowd, enthusiastic crowd and playing to that level is expected of us as champions. That’s where the guys get their biggest thrill as players.”

The Lakers have dropped the last two of their three previous meetings this season with the Grizzlies, as Gasol - a four-time All-Star who spent his first six-plus seasons in Memphis - has averaged 15.3 points against his former team.

Los Angeles is 21-4 when Gasol scores at least 20.

Memphis (27-25) had its season-best five-game winning streak snapped with a 95-93 overtime loss at Houston on Saturday night despite leading by as many as 14.

“Nothing is ever given to us,” said Rudy Gay(notes), who recorded back-to-back double-doubles for the first time all season with 17 points and 11 rebounds. “We let this one get away.”

Gay is averaging 23.7 points on 55.8-percent shooting against the Lakers this season.

The Grizzlies have won eight of nine at home, including four straight while averaging 108.5 points. The Lakers are limiting opponents to an average of 95.3 points over their last 15 road games.

Mike Conley(notes) shot a season-worst 2 of 16 against the Rockets but could bounce back Monday, as he scored a season-high 28 points versus the Lakers in a 98-96 home win Nov. 30.

Teammate Zach Randolph(notes) has 17 double-doubles in his last 18 games, averaging 22.6 points and 14.4 boards over that span.

The last three games between these teams in Memphis have been decided by two points or fewer. The Grizzlies won two of them.

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Monday, Feb 7