Coming off a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers Saturday afternoon, the Los Angeles Lakers were back in action again on Sunday afternoon, as they hosted the Memphis Grizzlies.
Brandon Ingram was once again in the starting lineup on a minutes restriction for the Lakers in just his second game back after dealing with patellar tendonitis.
He was joined in the starting lineup by Jordan Clarkson, D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr. The Lakers were without two big men in Ivica Zubac and Tarik Black.
Memphis was also without some key players, including Marc Gasol, so their starting lineup consisted of Mike Conley, Wayne Seldon, Tony Allen, James Ennis and Brandon Wright.
Randle got off to a good start for the Lakers, as he nailed a three to give his team an early 5-2 advantage. He also showed energy on the defensive end of the floor, coming up with a nice block on a layup attempt.
Allen, known more for his defense, returned the favor with a three of his own to put Memphis up 7-5. The Lakers then got a bit sloppy taking care of the ball, and when Ennis finished a dunk in transition to give Memphis a 13-7 lead, Lakers head coach Luke Walton called a full timeout.
Immediately out of the timeout Clarkson drained a long three. A few possessions later Randle converted on a driving layup to cut the deficit to 17-14, prompting a Grizzlies timeout.
The Lakers continued to be aggressive on the offensive end out of the timeout, as they took the lead at 18-17 after back-to-back layups by Ingram and Thomas Robinson.
Four first quarter turnovers by Russell led to Memphis closing the quarter on a 10-4 run, giving them a 27-22 lead after one quarter.
The Lakers started the quarter with four straight points, but Memphis answered with five straight of their own right after. Robinson continued to be active on the offensive glass, as he converted a second chance opportunity.
A steal then led to an easy layup by Corey Brewer, bringing the Lakers within two at 32-30, causing another Memphis timeout.
Trailing 35-33, Robinson came up with yet another offensive rebound on an airball by Brewer, turning into a three-point play to give the Lakers the lead.
The Lakers went on a 10-0 run overall to open up a 40-35 lead, capped off by a layup by Clarkson. A dunk by Wright ended that run, and then a three by Troy Daniels and layup by Zach Randolph tied the game at 42 with four minutes left in the first half.
Daniels continued his strong first half, as he knocked down another three, his fourth of the half, to give him 14 first half points which led all scorers.
The Lakers took a 50-49 lead into halftime, as Russell and Robinson were tied for the Lakers lead with nine points apiece. The Lakers out-rebounded the Grizzlies 27-15, with seven of them coming on the offensive end of the floor, but Los Angeles committed nine first half turnovers.
Randle got the scoring started in the third for the Lakers with a layup in their first possession. Wright then took over in the paint, as he converted two free throws, a dunk and another three-point play to give Memphis a 57-55 lead.
The Lakers small starting lineup continued to struggle defending Wright, as he finished an alley-oop to give Memphis the lead once again. Randle quickly responded with a putback dunk though to tie the game back up.
The two teams found themselves trading buckets for most of the third quarter, but a turnover by Russell led to another dunk by Wright which gave Memphis a 68-66 lead with five minutes left in the third quarter.
Russell found Randle on a nice entry pass out of a timeout, leading to a layup to once again tie the game. A Grizzlies turnover then led to another nice assist from Russell to Randle on an easy finish at the basket.
A three by Ennis closed out the third quarter with Memphis leading 80-79, but the game was anyone’s at that point as it seemed that they were trading leads with each possession.
Nance scored five straight points for the Lakers to begin the fourth quarter, as he drained a three and then tipped one in after a miss. Ennis quickly responded with a midrange jumper, though.
With just under eight minutes remaining, Conley, who had been cold for most of the game, drained a three to tie the game at 87. The Lakers worked hard on the defensive end and built their lead up to three, but one lapse on defense led to an open three by Daniels and the game was once again tied.
Out of the timeout, Russell knocked down a stepback three, giving him a game-high 22 points on the night. Russell was then fouled after getting a rebound on the defensive end of the floor. The Lakers were in the penalty so when he knocked down both free throws the Lakers took a 95-90 lead, their largest of the game, with five minutes to go.
Randolph missed an easy layup to beat the shot clock out of a timeout, but the Lakers could not take advantage as they got an eight-second violation bringing the ball up the floor. Los Angeles held a five-point lead, but Conley knocked down a tough three to cut it to two with two minutes left.
After an air ball by Russell, Conley threw another alley-oop to Wright, tying the game at 97 with under two minutes remaining.
Ennis drove and finished a nice teardrop out of a timeout, giving the Lakers a two-point advantage. The Grizzlies then turned the ball over, and Nance scored on a putback layup on the next possession. After a review for a possible basket interference, the ruling on the court stood so the Lakers led by four with a minute remaining.
The Grizzlies had another turnover on the inbounds pass, and Russell knocked down a pair of free throws to give Los Angeles a commanding 103-97 lead.
A three by Conley made it a one possession game, but Randle was fouled on a putback attempt giving him two free throws to make it a two-possession game. Randle knocked down one of two free throws and the Lakers lead was 104-100 with 28 seconds left.
Conley hit yet another three out of the timeout, bringing Memphis within one. Tyler Ennis made a pair of free throws to put the Lakers up by three with 11 seconds left.
Conley got another good look at a three out of the timeout, but he air-balled it. Randle knocked down two free throws to ice the game, and the Lakers came away with a 108-103 victory.
Russell led all scorers with 28 points on 9-of-17 shooting to go along with six rebounds and five assists. Three Lakers, Randle (18 points, 11 rebounds), Nance, (12 points, 14 rebounds) and Robinson (12 points, 10 rebounds) all finished with double-doubles.
After a rough start, Conley finished strong, scoring 20 points to go along with 12 assists. Daniels was tied for the Grizzlies lead in scoring off the bench as he knocked down six threes and scored 20 points.