This evening marks the end of a hard week for Coach Luke Walton and his young Lakers team as they face Marc Gasol and the Memphis Grizzlies.
With the injury plague that’s haunted L.A. looming overhead, we will see just how much these young men have matured as it will take a total team effort without key players like D’angelo Russell, Nick Young, and Larry Nance Jr. out on the floor.
The bench unit will certainly miss Nance’s athleticism down low, and it will be up to Tarik Black and Thomas Robinson to try to fill the void.
Marc Gasol begins the game by operating from the high post, his hook shot missing. Deng draws Randle’s first shot of the night is good. With 10 minutes to go, the Lakers get it to Randle off of a Memphis miss, and it’s Julius again with the deuce!
Randle is two of two on the night. Deng goes baseline with the little hook over Gasol, it’s also good. Lakers lead 6-0. However, it doesn’t last long as Andrew Harrison of the Grizzlies scores at the top of the key.
Brandon Ingram, who’s coming off a career night steps to the line for two. He hits them both. With 8:30 left in the first quarter, Daniels hits again. 8-7, Lakers. Ingram is then fouled on a turn-around jumpshot by Daniels. He’ll go to the line for two.
Ingram’s 4-4 from the line. Green runs it back for a layup off an Ingram turnover. Gasol shows off his excellent passing skills and dishes it to Green down low. The Memphis Grizzlies have their first lead of the night.
With 6:53 to go, there’s a timeout on the floor.
Calderon nabs his third rebound of the quarter for the Lakers. Ingram, with one second to shoot, hits the awkward jumper. 15-11, Lakers. Mozgov will go to the line courtesy of Deontay Davis. Hopefully, he’ll redeem himself of his 1 of 6 from the line night last night. He makes them both.
A failed lob attempt ends it what should have been disaster but two Grizzles players failed to make layups thanks to Ingram’s transition defense. It’s missed shot after missed shot and the Lakers still can’t capitalize and grab a rebound. Finally, after a three decent enough to build a house, Lakers snatch up the rebound.
However, it seems as though the injury plague has struck again as Calderon leaves the game. Lou Williams will man the point in his stead. He comes in and scores upon touching the ball.
Barely into the next offensive set, he’s sent to the free throw line. He makes them both. A Randle travel elicits yet another timeout. Lakers lead 20-15 with 2:40 to play.
Troy Daniels hits a three-pointer, and suddenly it’s knotted at twenty a piece. Marc Gasol nails one right after, and Coach Walton is furious.
Timeout, Los Angeles.
Out of the gates, Julius Randle snatches an offensive rebound out of the claws of an awaiting Grizzly. He goes back up strong, the ball barely crawling up and in but in nonetheless. Marc Gasol hits yet another shot from the post. The ending result is no surprise – he’s one of the best in the league.
Williams is fouled on the three. His perfect trip ties the game at twenty-five. With 02.6 left on the clock, the Lakers end the quarter by failing to inbound the ball. It will count as a turnover.
The Lakers open up the second quarter with the ‘Bench Mob.’ Lou Williams continues to set up camp at the free throw line. He has yet to miss. Luol Deng finds himself in trouble, but not as much trouble as he thought as he’s on the receiving end of a three-point play. He missed the free throw.
Tarik Black scored on the inside on a bullet pass from Jordan Clarkson, prompting Memphis head coach David Fizdale to call a timeout.
Andrew Harrison knocks down a shot for Memphis. Clarkson simulates his earlier play and feeds it to Tarik down low. He kisses it softly into the backboard for two. Daniels continues his fine play as he nails yet another three on a three-on-one play down the court.
Clarkson goes hard into the chest of Gasol and draws the foul. He makes them both. Lou Williams steals the ball as it cuts through the passing lane, but the intended pass to Tarik ends up with a jump ball. Tarik wins the jump, and the Lakers capitalize on the play.
Out of the timeout, the Lakers, on the break decide to get a little too fancy. Deng ends up running over a man. Turnover, Lakers. Lou Williams brings the bench to their feet as he throws it down! Thomas Robinson is stripped down the lane and the Grizzlies capitalize on the Laker turnover. Lou Williams hits again! He’s already got fifteen points. He’s also eight-of-eight from the free throw line.
An Ingram turnover ends with Troy Daniels kissing another three up and into the hoop. There’s another timeout on the floor. Williams makes it eighteen in the corner alone, but the Lakers fail to realize that it’s Troy Daniels who’s also got the hot hand.
With 3:30 to go, the Lakers maintain a 48-44 lead over the Grizzlies. Clarkson, who picked up his third foul, heads to the bench in exchange for Marcelo Huertas. He immediately locates the hotter hand – Lou Williams- and the ending result is nothing but net.
Wade Baldwin IV fouls Williams as he goes up yet again, and Memphis calls a timeout.
Williams will march back to the line for three more free throws. Huertes hits the bank shot among a plethora of white jerseys. Troy Daniels earns his twentieth point of the night, but cannot make it twenty-one at the line.
It’s a career first half for Lou Williams. The Lakers force a shot clock violation that ends with a Deng dunk at the other end thanks to the perfect pass by Marcelo Huertes. Lou Williams is absolutely on fire as he nabs his twenty-eighth point of the quarter. He’s only played sixteen minutes.
At the half, the Lakers lead Memphis 64-52.
The Grizzlies managed to cut the lead down to five. With 9:30 to go it was 66-61, Lakers. Mozgov began to get going for the Lakers, hitting a couple of baskets as well as a pair of free throws.
Deng scored on what was almost a steal by Williams. Marcelo Huertas returned to the game with 5:51 left in the quarter. The Lakers did a fantastic job out-hustling the Grizzlies for the rebound, but ultimately turned the ball over.
Clarkson cut baseline and Marcelo found him for the easy deuce. Julius Randle and Lou Williams returned to the game. Williams continued his stellar first-half performance late in the third. The Lakers were up by five with under two minutes to go.
Randle fouled Jarell Martin. That was his fourth. Coach Walton quickly inserted Luol Deng back into the game. Brandon Ingram’s three was off, and on the other end of the court Green managed to sneak into the Lakers defensive set for the put-back.
Under a minute to go, Williams sent two defenders flying with a couple of fakes. His floater in the lane wasn’t any good, but Mozgov was there to clean it up.
Marcelo’s late quarter attempt didn’t fall, and the Lakers found themselves neck and neck with the equally short-handed Grizzlies heading into the fourth quarter.
The Lakers began the final period with a turnover. Tarik Black, trying to deny Gasol the pass in the post, picked up the foul. With under 9:30 to go, it was 87-86 Lakers. Lou Williams turned the ball over trying to get it to Williams, and Gasol’s set shot back down the floor was nothing but net.
Gasol’s turnaround jumper urged Coach Walton to try and talk things over with his team. The Grizzlies led by three with 7:35 left to play. Tony Allen nearly lost it as he stumbled, but the Lakers failed to make anything of it. Martin’s follow-up dunk in the lane fortunately did not connect.
Williams drifting shot gave the Lakers the lead, but all celebrations were cut short as Julius Randle picked up his fifth foul. The Grizzlies took the lead moments later. Mozgov somehow ended up with Tony Allen guarding him, he’d have earned a three point, but he’d miss the free throw.
Mozgov’s next shot – a drifting fadeaway- was good, but he would be called for the travel. Troy Daniels snatched the lead back for Memphis and the Lakers then turned it over, the ending result was a dunk by JaMychal Green.
Clarkson’s three point attempt to tie the game rolled out. He made the tough layup, though. Tony Allen, roaming free under the basket, saved the Lakers a bucket as he was called for the travel.
A hook shot from Gasol was good, and the Lakers suddenly found themselves down by six. With a minute and half left to play, Jordan Clarkson was tripped as he was recovering a loose ball. Lou Williams, on a foul on Tony Allen, was sent right back to the where he completed a three-point play.
100-103, Grizzlies with 57 seconds left on the clock.
Randle, Clarkson, Ingram, Deng, and Williams were the appointed stars of the night for Coach Walton. Lou Williams missed the game tying three, and with under twenty seconds to go the Lakers were forced to foul.
The Grizzlies turned the ball over and Julius Randle was fouled as he went up for the three! Julius needed to make all three of them, but missed the first two. He purposely missed the last one, but the Lakers managed to come out with a rebound and a shot attempt, but were unable to capitalize. Troy Daniels finished with a career high of thirty-one points.
Final Score: Lakers – 100, Grizzlies – 103