2023 Playoffs First-Round Preview: Reviewing Lakers-Grizzlies Regular Season Matchups
Austin Reaves Luke Kennard Lakers
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 7-seeded Los Angeles Lakers are set to face the No. 2-seeded Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs. The Lakers secured their place in this matchup by defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Play-In Tournament.

This figures to be one of the most intriguing first-round series despite it being a 2-7 matchup. The Lakers have been one of the best teams in the league since overhauling their roster at the trade deadline while the Grizzlies have dealt with their fair share of drama, largely surrounding their superstar guard Ja Morant.

The Grizzlies are also without Steven Adams and Brandon Clarke, who underwent season-ending surgeries within the last month.

Before the series begins on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. PT in Memphis, let’s review how the regular season series went down between these two teams.

January 21 @ Los Angeles: Lakers 122, Grizzlies 121

This game was the only matchup between L.A. and Memphis that took place prior to the trade deadline. As such, the Lakers had two starters and a major bench player — Russell Westbrook, Patrick Beverley and Thomas Bryant — that are no longer on the team. Anthony Davis also missed this game due to a right foot stress injury.

Even still, the Lakers managed to steal a victory over a fully healthy Grizzlies team. This is largely thanks to the late-game heroics of Dennis Schroder. Down three with 13 seconds remaining, Schroder hit two free throws to make it 120-119 Grizzlies. Then, Schroder stole the ball from Desmond Bane, drove to the basket and drew an and-one layup that gave L.A. a two-point advantage.

They won the game when Clarke missed a game-tying free throw. Westbrook led the way for the Lakers off the bench with 29 points, LeBron James finished with 23 points, nine rebounds and six assists while Schroder had 19 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

February 28 @ Memphis: Grizzlies 121, Lakers 109

James was the absent man for the Lakers in their second matchup with the Grizzlies. Adams was unavailable for this matchup as well, moving Xavier Tillman into the starting lineup. Even without James, the Lakers were competitive for one half.

They were leading 49-46 at the break before Morant took the game over in the third quarter. Morant scored 28 points in the third quarter alone, contributing to a 47-point total from Memphis to pull ahead 93-84 after three.

The two teams were back and forth for the first, second and fourth quarters and the Grizzlies ultimately tallied a 12-point win. Morant finished with 39 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Davis was the Lakers leading scorer with 28 points to go along with a game-high 19 rebounds. Lonnie Walker IV and Austin Reaves combined for 38 points off the bench.

March 7 @ Los Angeles: Lakers 112, Grizzlies 103

The final regular season meeting between the Lakers and Grizzlies came without James or Morant in the lineup with the latter dealing with a suspension. Without the two main scorers and distributors for both sides, it became a battle of bigs with Davis and Jaren Jackson Jr.

Memphis led by one at halftime, but the Lakers controlled most of the second half, finishing with a final second-half tally of 56-46. Davis was once again the lead man for the Lakers, finishing with 30 points and a dominant 22 rebounds on 11-for-17 from the field. He was a game-high plus-24. Jackson had 26 points and eight rebounds.

But the Lakers had far greater contributions from their depth. Schroder, Reaves and Rui Hachimura all finished with 17 points while no one for the Grizzlies outside of Jackson had more than 16.

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!

You May Also Like

Lakers News: Mitch Kupchak On Kobe Bryant’s Play

After striking out on big names this off-season, Los Angeles Lakers general…

Numbers Game: Debunking Myths and Misconceptions About Lakers’ Management

For some of the most ardent anti-Jim (Buss) folks out there, no…

Kobe on Ex-Rutgers Coach: “I Woulda Smacked The Hell Out Of Him”

The recent dismissal of Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice has stirred quite…

Lakers Vs. Jazz Preview: LeBron James Out In Final Game Before All-Star Break

The Los Angeles Lakers are on the second night of a back-to-back as they take on the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night…