Ice-cold Mayo keeps shooting and shooting, going 0-for-8 from 3 for the game, and 0-for-8 (with a Turnover and 2 Fouls) in the last 18 minutes, including 0-for-6 in 2 Overtimes, as the ex-trojan’s Grizzlies fall to the Lakers, 116-111
The Lakers have been struggling mightily on the Road this season, but on Tuesday night in Memphis, they got all the help they could have hoped for, from a name quite familiar to L.A. fans. Ex-trojan O.J. Mayo was the Goat of the Night, going 7-for-25 from the field, including 0-for-8 from Downtown, allowing the Lakers to pull out a thrilling 116-111 Double-Overtime Road Victory.
Mayo’s bad night didn’t immediately doom Memphis. who actually busted open a close game in the 3rd quarter to take a SEVENTEEN-point lead over L.A. But then the Lakers’ Big 3 — Kobe, Bynum, and Gasol — took over the game. With the help of Bruin Matt Barnes bothering Mayo on Defense, L.A. came storming back. Mayo made a lay-up with 9 minutes to go in regulation, but then missed his final 8 shots — 2 in regulation, 2 in the first O.T., and FOUR in the 2nd O.T., when ANY of them would have put the Grizzlies in great position to win the game.
Mayo is just as selfish, self-absorbed, and over-confident now as he was at u$c, where his alleged pay-for-play scheme got his Coach fired, and got the team sanctions and probation. Two of his teammates were much better options in crunchtime, but Mayo repeatedly ignored these better alternatives, firing away off-balance, low-percentage shots that made his hometown fans groan. With Mayo off-the-mark and with Grizzly star Rudy Gay out injured, Memphis just couldn’t overcome Andrew Bynum’s 37-point, 16-Rebound effort, with Kobe adding 34 and 9. The designed play that killed them was the Pau Gasol-to-Bynum alley-oop, which supplied two crucial buckets down the stretch. And the un-designed play that put the Lakers in control came with 38 seconds left in the 2nd O.T., when Mayo fouled Kobe with the Lakers up by 1. Bryant sank both Free Throws, putting L.A. up by 3. Memphis tried two Three’s to tie, the second one a brick by Mayo, which sent the Memphis fans into a mass exodus of the arena.
Speaking of Exodus, Bruin Head Coach Ben Howland will NOT be making an exodus from UCLA, as he just received the proverbial vote of confidence from Athletic Director Dan Guerrero. The A.D. put out a statement to the Media stating that after much consideration, Ben will definitely be back for next season. Some changes to the way the program is run may be made, but Howland will still be in charge. The changes might include one practice a week being open to the Media, just so the public will have a window into the inner workings of the program, to see that it is being run correctly, with no Nelson-like distractions/adversity taking place.
And now that Ben is cemented into place, there will be no mass exodus of the incoming recruiting class. That class could be #1 in the Nation, if Shabazz Muhammad — the #1 Recruit in the Country — signs on the dotted line. It is now being reported that Bazz will announce his decision on April 11th, which could be a great way to erase the memory of a Bruin-less March Madness.