This was disappointing.
The Lakers had stayed with the Grizzlies for most of the game. But the Grizz made pushes when the Lakers got close late and the result was Memphis tying the season series with the Lakers, 121-109.
It’s easy to see where it all went wrong with the Lakers: turnovers. Los Angeles gave Memphis 26 extra possessions. When you give Ja Morant and company that many possessions, it’s tough to beat them.
Another thing that sticks out is Ja being unstoppable in the third quarter. Morant scored a mind-boggling 28 points in that period, which is the most by a player in a quarter this season. He helped boost the lead to 9 points entering the fourth quarter.
The Grizzlies would boost the lead to 13 points but L.A. had more fight in them. They scored 9 straight points to cut the deficit to four. But then the Grizzlies countered with 8 unanswered points of their own. The last turnover was particularly damning because after Dennis Schröder threw a bad pass, he put his head down and didn’t try to get back as the Grizzlies ran a fastbreak. That was pretty much the game.
Like I said, the game felt winnable as the Lakers kept up with Memphis. Even though Memphis dominated the paint (86 points by the Grizz compared to 48 by the Lakers) and outran the Lakers (33 to 15 fast break points), the Lakers had the rare advantage in three (+21) and outboarded them (56-47). But again, those 26 turnovers were killer.
Anthony Davis also had himself a game with 28 points, 19 boards, and 5 blocks. Lonnie Walker IV got a rare opporunity (at least, these days) and scored 21 off the bench. Austin Reaves scored 15 of his 17 in the first half.
The Grizzlies were led by Ja Morant’s triple-double (39-10-10; 28 points in the third). Xavier Tillman started and went for 18 points and 11 boards. Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson, Jr. each scored 16 points. Jackson also had a wicked putback slam over Davis. It was cruel.
The Lakers don’t have a long time to be down as they have the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night. Their three-game win streak has been snapped and as I’ve said many times, they have little to no error for margin.
That 2-10 start is looming larger and larger as this season has gone on.