Lakers look for 3-1 series advantage against Grizzlies

Lakers jumped on Grizzlies with 35-9 first quarter on their way to a Game 3 win.

LOS ANGELES — Lakers and Grizzlies go at it for the fourth time in their series on Monday night.

We saw what happened on Saturday. Game 3 was more or less won in a dominant first quarter. And for the rest of the game, it was pretty much maintenance by the Lakers.

The only thing is that Memphis had to feel encouraged after Ja Morant, who was out for Game 2, scored 24 of his 45 points in the fourth quarter when he tried a furious rally by himself.

I’m sure the Lakers will take note of that. But they were also glad that they held everyone down. Xavier Tillman, who had 22 points and 13 boards in Game 2, only had 6 points (he did have 12 rebounds). Desmond Bane was decent at 18 points but it felt like he had no impact on the game. Dillon Brooks (who is now on classic cowardly heel mode by blaming the media for making him a villain) went 3 for 13 (7 points) before he got kicked out of the game early in the third. Tyus Jones was shut out.

They’re all going to try to come back stronger. Their backs are pretty much against the wall at this point. A loss here would give the Lakers a 3-1 advantage and they don’t want that when they go back to Tennessee on Wednesday for Game 5.

But of course, the Lakers want that. They’ll have to come out of the gates like they did on Game 3. Hell, they would probably want to repeat the formula from Saturday; dump on the young bears in the first quarter and take an immediate 26-point lead.

Anthony Davis was great on both ends (31 points, 17 rebounds, three blocks, two steals). LeBron James set the tone early, scoring 6 of the first 8 Laker points. He had 25-9-5 at the end of the game. Rui Hachimura continues to be a beast off the bench. He scored 16 points in Game 3 and he could’ve scored 20 if they needed it. D’Angelo Russell does need to shoot better (17 points on 5 for 14) but he was great on setting his teammates up (7 assists). And the Lakers can rely on Austin Reaves (13 points) when they need him.

I do expect a much more competitive Game 4 on Monday night. The Grizzlies aren’t just going to lay down and roll over. The Lakers have a chance to be on the brink of a series win.

It is the NBA Playoffs. It’s going down!