LeBron James scored 13 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and just narrowly missed a second consecutive triple-double as the Los Angeles Lakers pulled away from the Memphis Grizzlies for a 108-94 victory on Sunday.
The win was the Lakers’ third straight and improved their record to 5-2. James finished with 22 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists on the night and he broke open what was a two-point game at the start of the fourth quarter.
The Lakers outscored Memphis 31-19 in the fourth, which was an extension of the second and third quarters. After a fast start, the Lakers went ice cold and Memphis took advantage by going on a 17-0 run to lead by 11 after the first quarter.
But after giving up 36 points in the first, the Lakers held Memphis to just 58 points the rest of the way and got a huge boost from their bench with some starters struggling. Montrezl Harrell finished with 16 points and nine rebounds while Wesley Matthews knocked down 4-of-6 from deep on his way to 14 points.
Talen Horton-Tucker also added seven points and six rebounds as he saw a minutes increase with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope out due to lingering soreness from a sprained left ankle.
Anthony Davis struggled offensively, shooting just 6-of-15 from the field, but helped out everywhere else with nine rebounds, three steals and three blocks to go along with 17 points. Dennis Schroder likewise didn’t have his best offensive game, but still added 11 points and five assists while also coming up with some huge defensive plays down the stretch.
Despite their awful opening quarter, the Lakers turned things around in the second, outscoring Memphis by 12 to go into the half ahead by two. The 108 points was a season-low for the Lakers early on this year and the team shot just 34.3% from 3-point territory, but were able to make up for it by knocking down 14-of-19 from the line and only turning the ball over 10 times.
This game also marked the first back in Memphis for Lakers center Marc Gasol since he was dealt at the 2019 trade deadline to the Toronto Raptors. Arguably the best player in Grizzlies franchise history, Gasol finished with seven points, six rebounds and four assists in his first return game.
Next up for the Lakers
The Lakers will finish off their road trip with a second game against the Grizzlies before returning home for games against the San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Bulls.
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