The Los Angeles Lakers looked to get back to .500 on Sunday night, but standing in their way is one of the best teams in the Western Conference, the Memphis Grizzlies.
Memphis comes in to the game at 6-3 and owning wins over some excellent teams like the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets. While the supporting cast is different, they are still lead by the excellent duo of Marc Gasol and Mike Conley.
The Lakers come in following a solid performance in a win over the Brooklyn Nets. Brook Lopez has posted season highs in scoring in each of the last two contests while Kyle Kuzma lit it up in his first career start. L.A. will need to be at their best to come out with a win.
The Lakers got off to a solid start early on as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope finishing a tough layup for their first basket followed by a beautiful slam from Brandon Ingram on a nice drive.
Brook Lopez would get things going with a corner three, followed by two gorgeous passes to Kyle Kuzma for baskets. Memphis would match the Lakers basket for basket however, as Gasol and Conley were hot early on. Once the Lakers missed a couple of shots they quickly found themselves down four after a three from Conley and a fadeaway from Gasol.
L.A. would respond with a 7-0 run capped off by a coast-to-coast three-point play from Ball for his first points of the night. Ball would get another layup to go and then find Randle for a dunk, but the Grizzlies bench continued to match as the teams were tied at 22.
The Lakers ended the quarter well as Clarkson found Randle for a layup and Randle returned the favor on the next possession to put the Lakers ahead 27-24 after one.
Randle got the Lakers on the board with an easy layup to start the quarter, but Memphis’ outstanding bench unit kept the Grizzlies right on pace. Randle continued his good quarter with a block on one end followed by a layup on the other. Clarkson would find him again later as Randle became the first player in double-figures.
Lopez would check back in for the Lakers and immediately make an impact, hitting back-to-back threes to give the Lakers their biggest lead of the half, at seven points. Kuzma would follow with a floater over Gasol to push the Laker lead to nine points and force David Fizdale to burn a timeout.
The Lakers briefly pushed the lead to double-digits, but Memphis quickly ended that with a Conley steal and pull-up three followed by a Gasol jumper.
Ingram began to take the game over down the stretch with multiple drives and finishes through the Memphis defense. Ingram would finish one more layup and the foul to finish the half with 18 points, but the Lakers allowed Tyreke Evans to hit a three at the buzzer as the Lakers lead 62-54 at the half.
Ingram had four rebounds to go along with his 18 points to lead the Lakers. Brook Lopez had nine points and six assists while Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson combined for 19 points off the bench.
Both teams got off to a very slow start in the second half, with each missing their first five shots before Kuzma finally got the Lakers a basket. James Ennis woul immediately match for Memphis, but a Lopez three put the Lakers back ahead by 11.
Ball knocked down a three and KCP was fouled on one as well, knocking down all three free throws as the Lakers stretched the lead to the largest of the night, 13 points.
They would turn it on from there as Kuzma hit a three followed by back-to-back triples from Caldwell-Pope and suddenly the Lakers found themselves with a huge 22-point lead.
There was a bit of an injury scare as Caldwell-Pope went down with a hip injury and had to be helped to the locker room. It turned out to be a minor ailment however as KCP would return to the bench before the quarter was over and was cleared to return to the game.
The Lakers would get a little sloppy down the stretch of the quarter, but Memphis was only able to cut into the lead slightly as the Lakers went to the fourth quarter ahead 88-70.
Clarkson got the Lakers started with a nice pull-up jumper, but the Grizzlies came out looking to fight back into the game. Evans and Conley hit a pair of baskets, and a couple of turnovers led to easy baskets as Memphis cut the lead to 14.
Luke Walton would turn back to his starters as Lopez and Ingram would knock down some free throws to keep the Lakers ahead by 15. The teams would trade baskets over the next couple of minutes as Ball found Lopez with a nice alley-oop, but Gasol would respond with a three to cut the lead to 12.
Memphis cut the lead to 10, but Lopez finished a big layup and was fouled. He missed the free throw, but the Lakers still led by 12 with Memphis fighting to claw back in the game.
Another big shot by Lopez gave the Lakers a little breathing room, but the Grizzlies continued to cut into the lead little by little. A tough layup from Evans brought them within eight and a three from Conley cut it to five points with one minute remaining.
The Lakers would turn the ball over and after some scrambling, Brook Lopez would commit a Flagrant 1 foul on Dillon Brooks who hit both free throws to make it a three-point game with 42.5 seconds left. The Grizzlies would keep possession, but Caldwell-Pope would come up huge with a steal on one end and a jumper on the other.
Evans hit a layup, but Lopez knocked down a pair of free throws to ice the game with five seconds left. The Lakers would win 107-102 as Brook Lopez led the team with 21 points while Ingram had 20.
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