For much of the night, the biggest bit of entertainment in the Los Angeles Lakers game against the Memphis Grizzlies came courtesy of an altercation between NFL Hall of Famer and LeBron James superfan, Shannon Sharpe, and members of the Grizzlies as well as Ja Morant’s father, Tee Morant. But a late rally capped by Dennis Schroder’s steal and three-point play sent the fans home happy.
The Lakers fought back from a 13-point second-half deficit, and Schroder stripped Desmond Bane and converted a three-point play with 7.8 seconds remaining to come away with a huge 122-121 victory. It was the Lakers’ second win in three games and snapped Memphis’ 11-game win streak.
For most of the game, it felt like the Lakers’ failures to match the size, athleticism and physicality of the Grizzlies would cost them. The Grizzlies out-rebounded the Lakers 63 to 47 including 24 offensive rebounds, which led to 39 second-chance points. But the Lakers found their ways to stick around.
Most notable was their advantage in transition as the Lakers outscored Memphis 20 to four in fast break points. The Lakers also hit 33-of-41 from the free throw line while Memphis missed 14 of their 40 attempts with the biggest of those misses clinching the win for the Lakers.
Brandon Clarke was fouled on a rebound attempt with under two seconds remaining and a chance to send the game to overtime. But after making the first, he missed the second and Bane stepped out of bounds in his attempt to save the ball, giving the Lakers the win.
The Lakers were able to come out on top despite a less-than-stellar game from LeBron James, who shot just 8-of-21 from the field for 23 points, though he did contribute eight rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks.
Russell Westbrook poured in a season-high 29 points to lead the way, however, to go along with six assists and five rebounds.
Schroder finished with 19 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and three steals while Troy Brown Jr., Kendrick Nunn and Patrick Beverley all scored in double-figures as well. The Lakers also continued their recent stretch of taking care of the ball, with just nine total turnovers on the night.
Arguably what won the Lakers the game was their defense on Morant, who finished with just 22 points on 9-of-29 shooting from the field. Included that was a key miss lately with Westbrook defending him tightly.
Next up for the Lakers
The Lakers hit the road to face the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday night before a back-to-back set at home next Tuesday and Wednesday against the L.A. Clippers and San Antonio Spurs which will be followed by a huge five-game East Coast road trip.
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