Recap: Lakers Come Out Flat & Unable To Battle Back Against Grizzlies Without Ja Morant In Game 2
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Even without Ja Morant, the Los Angeles Lakers were unable to beat the Memphis Grizzlies and lost Game 2, 103-93.

LeBron James got the Lakers going off to a solid start, scoring the team’s first five points of the night. However, turnovers and missed shots from everyone else allowed the Grizzlies to take a 12-7 lead midway through the first quarter.

Rui Hachimura was able to get on the scoreboard immediately after checking in for the first time by knocking down a midrange jumper, but Memphis was able to go on a quick 7-0 run to push their lead to double digits for the first time. After whittling the deficit to five, Desmond Bane got going to close the first and left Los Angeles trailing 30-19.

James was able to get a layup to go to begin the second, but the defense was unable to get any stops which left them unable to chip away at the Grizzlies lead. Anthony Davis sparked a run with his effort on both ends of the floor, including a hustle block that forced a Memphis timeout.

D’Angelo Russell was finally able to hit a much-needed 3-pointer after the break, though Memphis did well to hold them off on the other end. The Grizzlies were able to convert on Lakers turnovers at the end of the half which left Los Angeles looking at a 59-44 hole going into the locker room.

Xavier Tillman lit up Los Angeles to begin the third, scoring seven points to push Memphis’ lead to 20. James was able to key an 8-0 run with his relentless in the paint but it was put out by a David Roddy 3-pointer.

However, the Lakers kept battling and were able to get the deficit back to single digits after a Hachimura lay in. Hachimura continued to provide some scoring punch down the stretch, but Los Angeles would go into the fourth trailing 83-71.

Jarred Vanderbilt finally got involved offensively, finding himself open under the rim to help the Lakers make up some ground. L.A. couldn’t get anything to go down, though, as the officials were content with letting the two teams play which played to Memphis’ advantage.

The purple and gold started to play with more urgency as the game winded down, playing with a renewed sense of energy on both ends to try and key one more run. The Lakers were able to threaten the Grizzlies on several occasions in the closing minutes due to some well-executed plays, but ultimately couldn’t make the crucial shots they needed.

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