MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Mike D'Antoni stomped his feet, swore loudly and threw his arms to the side as if he had just finished a jazz dance routine. As was the theme for most of Wednesday, the Lakers coach was not happy.
The recipient of this tantrum was not Pau Gasol, who drew D'Antoni's ire earlier in the day for comments criticizing the coach's lineups, but veteran referee David Jones, who whistled D'Antoni for a technical foul after he ran too far afoul of the man with the whistle to complain about an out of bounds call.
As for the larger issue of the day, the ongoing rift between D'Antoni and Gasol, that seemed to resolve itself, at least for Wednesday, despite the Lakers suffering a 108-103 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
The small-ball lineup Gasol criticized after a blowout loss a night earlier in Indianapolis proved effective, and problems with players not passing the ball went away when, in the second half, the Lakers (19-39) launched a successful comeback by running the offense through Gasol.
"It doesn't make sense to go out there and lose by 20," point guard Jordan Farmar said. "Guys just going for their numbers and stuff. Let's play good basketball, let's play through our best player and figure it out from there."
The Lakers didn't quite figure it out, rallying from a 19-point deficit at halftime to cut the score to 106-103 with 14 seconds left.
They outscored the Grizzlies, 27-17, in the third quarter and used a 22-9 run spanning into the final two quarters to cut the deficit to five.
Jodie Meeks led the Lakers with 19 points. Gasol finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
The Lakers came back from a disastrous first half in which they allowed the Grizzlies to shoot 57.1 percent from the field.
And while finding encouragement in losses doesn't quite fit with the tradition of the Lakers, they hoped that, in their seventh loss in eight games, there was a glimmer of what they might be able to accomplish over the final 24 games of this throwaway season.
"I think we were maybe a little more active defensively and more structured," Gasol said. "And disciplined offensively. So I think it paid off."
It was a big shift from comments the night before that came off as stubborn opposition to D'Antoni's plan to break bigger teams by making them run.
"It's clear that the numbers say that when you spread the floor and move the ball and you get up and down the floor, that we have a lot better chance to win. That's what we're going to do," D'Antoni said before the game.
For the foreseeable future that means starting lanky swingman Wesley Johnson at power forward, regardless of matchups.
Gasol said Tuesday he would prefer to see the Lakers go big against teams' more bruising frontcourts such as Indiana and Memphis.
D'Antoni brushed aside Gasol's criticisms of the lineups and more or less agreed players needed better discipline on the offensive end, but was especially irked Gasol took his complaints to the media instead of the coaching staff.
"You just keep it in-house," D'Antoni said of the best way to handle conflict. "It's very easy to just come over and talk about your frustrations. We'll try to work something out. We'll work it out, but to go to you guys (media) and the papers, that's disturbing."
Gasol said he and D'Antoni did not discuss his comments, and that he did not think he crossed any lines.
"It was from frustration," Gasol said, "but I don't think it was nothing out of line or nothing that went too far. I think I stated something obvious, to me. I don't think I said anything too crazy."
Center Chris Kaman did not play because of a sore back. ...
The Lakers were outscored, 56-34, in the paint and outrebounded, 45-34.