The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Memphis Grizzlies, 117-105.
Anthony Davis was forced to exit the game as he suffered an apparent leg injury, but the Lakers were able to take the early lead due to their defense. JaVale McGee provided an early lift as he racked up a couple of blocks that got Los Angeles out into transition.
The Grizzlies began to chip away at the lead midway through the quarter as they were able to execute on the offensive end, but Kyle Kuzma and Dwight Howard were able to help keep the Lakers ahead. A solid finish to the period gave Los Angeles a 28-22 lead.
The Lakers got off to a quick start in the second as LeBron James scored five points and Rajon Rondo hit a three to push their lead into double digits. Los Angeles was also able to breathe a sigh of relief as Davis returned to the game after heading to the locker room.
Ja Morant helped ignite a 7-0 run to get the Grizzlies going, but Alex Caruso and Avery Bradley helped the Lakers get back on track by making plays offensively. Los Angeles, led by Davis, kicked up the defensive intensity to close the quarter and they went into the half up 60-41.
The Lakers picked up where they left off to begin the third as they were able to find success from beyond the arc, but the Grizzlies responded with a 13-0 run to cut the lead in half. Davis was able to keep Memphis at bay with a few free throws, but the momentum had clearly shifted to the Grizzlies.
Los Angeles offense slowed down as they were unable to convert on their open looks, while Memphis continued to attack and cut the deficit to single digits. The Lakers
bench quickly responded by generating turnovers and getting out on the break, but they went into the final quarter only up 84-77.
It was a messy beginning for Los Angeles in the fourth quarter as they were clearly frustrated with the officiating which allowed Memphis to close the gap further. However, Davis and James began to exert their will on both ends to keep the Grizzlies at arm’s length.
Caruso’s energy gave the purple and gold a much-needed boost as he was able to affect the game and in turn, helped them begin to pull away. Memphis made one more run to try and steal a win, but James was able to close it out down the stretch.