Winners of three of their last four, the Los Angeles Lakers hit the road on Thursday night looking to continue their strong play against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Unfortunately though, the Lakers could not keep that momentum going as they fell to the Grizzlies, 108-95. Turnovers were the main reason for the loss as the Lakers somehow turned it over 22 times.
The Lakers actually got off to a quick start in this one as they turned defense into offense by getting out in transition, leading to thunderous dunks from Talen Horton-Tucker, LeBron James and Anthony Davis to give them an early 14-8 lead.
James, whose play has been very strong of late, continued that in this one as he was doing everything for the Lakers in the first quarter, whether it be coming up with steals, taking charges, rebounding, finding open teammates or attacking the basket for easy buckets.
Despite James’ dominance though, the Lakers did not close the quarter strong so their lead was just four at 29-25 through one.
The main issue for the Lakers early was turnovers and the Grizzlies eventually drilled a three early in the second quarter to take their first lead, although Russell Westbrook quickly responded with a three of his own so that lead was short-lived.
The turnovers continued for L.A. from though so, which allowed Memphis to get some easy buckets at the rim and open up their largest lead at four, forcing Frank Vogel to call timeout.
With the Grizzlies lead getting up to six after the timeout and things seemingly spiraling for the Lakers, Wayne Ellington drilled a big three coming off a screen to stop the bleeding.
As has been the case so many times this season, the Lakers’ effort lacked once they got punched in the mouth by Memphis. Despite a poor second quarter filled with turnovers and an inability to rebound though, they were lucky to only go into the halftime locker room trailing 59-53.
Considering how poorly they were doing on the glass, the Lakers came out with a different lineup to start the third with Dwight Howard taking the place of Horton-Tucker. That move paid immediate dividends as the Lakers began the quarter on a 6-0 run to tie the game.
James then continued his dominance by knocking down a three to help the Lakers regain the lead. Davis then hit a rare three of his own to extend the lead to four midway through the third quarter.
Similar to the second quarter though, the Lakers got sloppy with the ball, which allowed the Grizzlies to go on another run and they eventually led 85-78 through three quarters.
Desmond Bane began the third quarter by drilling a three to give the Grizzlies their first double-digit lead of the night.
As the Lakers’ turnover count reached 21 early in the fourth, the Grizzlies extended their lead to 14.
Ellington answered with a three out of a timeout to keep it within striking distance, although the Grizzlies continued to dominate on the offensive glass. Jared Jackson Jr. then hit a three to extend the lead to 16, essentially putting the game out of reach as the Lakers continued to look lifeless.
The lone positive of the night was that James notched his 100th career triple-double, becoming the fifth player in NBA history to do so. He finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in the loss.
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