With both teams completing a back-to-back, it was the Los Angeles Lakers who had more energy that carried them to a 111-88 thrashing of the Memphis Grizzlies. The win gave the Lakers a split on their two-game road trip and improved them to 5-1 this season on the second night of consecutive games.
While the Lakers had early trouble with turnovers, the Grizzlies weren’t able to make them pay as they were cold from the field and shot less than 30 percent in the first quarter. A 9-0 run gave the Lakers a 21-12 lead.
L.A. mounted another dominant stretch in the second quarter, buoyed by Josh Hart connecting on three straight 3-pointers to extend their lead to 47-24. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope also found the mark from deep and had 10 points before the half.
Even when Memphis began to generate some traction with an 11-0 run, they still faced a 16-point deficit. That was essentially the last they were heard from as the Lakers responded with a rally of their own to blow the game open.
Caldwell-Pope made back-to-back 3-pointers, and after Kyle Kuzma found James for an and-1 slam dunk, he returned the favor by hitting the second-year forward for a three. With the Lakers sitting comfortably ahead, James checked out at 2:18 remaining in the third quarter.
Although the hope was that he could sit out the remainder of the game, James returned in the fourth quarter after the Grizzlies trimmed the Lakers’ lead to 19 points. His presence provided some stability to finish off the impressive win.
The blowout allowed rookies Isaac Bonga and Moritz Wagner to see the floor over the final few minutes of the game. Just as Wagner earlier in the week, Bonga scored his first career point at the free throw line.