The Los Angeles Lakers finally got in the win column on Sunday night, hanging on to beat the Memphis Grizzlies, 121-118, to improve to 1-2 on the young season.
It was a back and forth affair between two playoff teams as it came down to the final possession. With the Lakers leading by three, Kent Bazemore fouled Ja Morant on a 3-point attempt. The Grizzlies point guard knocked down the first two before missing the third, paving the way for the Lakers to come out on top.
Leading the way for L.A. was Carmelo Anthony, who had a historic night, as the 19-year veteran passed Moses Malone for ninth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
It’s only been three games with the Lakers, but this was clearly Anthony’s best with the team as they would not have won the game without his play on both ends of the floor. Anthony finished with a team-high 28 points on 10-of-15 shooting (6-of-8 from three) while also adding three rebounds, an assist, two blocks and a steal.
He got the crucial rebound after the Morant missed free throw and then knocked down two free throws of his own to officially seal it.
Anthony Davis was also great for the Lakers, coming up with some huge defensive plays down the stretch to seal the victory. He finished with 22 points, eight rebounds and four blocks.
In addition to Anthony and Davis, LeBron James also contributed to the victory with 19 points, six rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks in 40 minutes. He continued his hot shooting from deep to begin the season, making four of his nine 3-point attempts.
Russell Westbrook, who is still settling into his new role with the Lakers, looked like his usual self in the first half, reaching double-digit assists by finding DeAndre Jordan and Davis for a number of easy buckets.
Westbrook had 13 points to go along with 13 assists, seven rebounds and four steals on the night, although he did have nine turnovers and shot 5-of-15 so it’s still a work in progress.
On the Grizzlies side of things, Morant turned in a spectacular outing with a game-high 40 points on 13-of-21 shooting (5-of-7 from three), three rebounds and 10 assists.
Next up for the Lakers
The Lakers now head out on their first road trip of the season, playing a back-to-back against the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday and Wednesday before returning home to face the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.
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