Alex Caruso and Anthony Davis both returned and while it wasn’t enough for the Los Angeles Lakers to avoid another slow start, they again rallied and extended their winning streak to seven games by defeating the Memphis Grizzlies 115-105.
The Lakers committed two turnovers and settled for poor shots early, which allowed the Grizzlies to open the game with an 11-0 run. Los Angeles tried to get Davis going, but he was unable to hit on his first three shots while Jonas Valanciunas scored 11 early points.
Davis was finally able to scratch after converting an and-1 and another look underneath the rim, but the Lakers had issues stringing together enough stops to make a dent in the Memphis lead. The L.A. offense perked up a bit in the closing minutes, but still found themselves down 31-16.
The bench unit led by Montrezl Harrell and Kyle Kuzma was able to inject some much-needed life in the team as their work on both ends helped them cut into the deficit. Memphis was able briefly push it back to 17 points after nailing back-to-back 3s, but Los Angeles answered with a quick 7-0 run to bring it down to 10.
LeBron James and Davis began to take over the scoring, taking turns each time down but the Grizzlies were able match them on the other end. L.A. had opportunities to get closer, but instead Ja Morant nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to keep some separation for the Grizzlies at 59-46.
The Lakers came out much better in the third, reeling off a 9-0 run to get back into single digits. However, a few defensive breakdowns cost L.A. a chance to take control of the game.
Morant’s ability to get in the paint caused problems for the Laker defense, but Marc Gasol’s second three of the night kept them close. James gave the purple and gold their first lead of the night off an and-1 and he drilled a three at the end of the clock to give them an 87-82 advantage.
The Laker run continued into the fourth as an animated James took over with his passing and shooting. Unfortunately, Kuzma collided with Harrell on a fastbreak and the latter had to exit the game.
Kuzma’s effort on the offensive boards midway kept the momentum going, extending their lead to 13. The Grizzlies were unable to mount a comeback, and the Lakers came away with another win to finish 5-0 on their homestand.
Lakers end overtime streak
In picking up their seventh consecutive win, the Lakers snapped their streak of overtime games at three, which of course was a welcomed development.
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