Grizz fall late to the Lakers, 109-108
The Memphis Grizzlies closed out a four game home stand Saturday night against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Grizz won the first game of the home stand by one point (Jazz), saw two bad losses in the middle (Nuggets & Warriors), and lost the last game (Lakers) by one point.
Before Saturday’s game, the Grizz hadn’t played since Tuesday night, which gave them plenty of time to practice. The home team punched first and got out to a big lead early, pretty much dominating the first quarter of the game. The Lakers came into the match-up with the league’s best record; so, it’s no surprise that they would fight their way back into the game.
When the teams headed into the half-time break, the Grizz were up by 8 points. The young Grizz allowed the experienced Lakers to dictate the pace of the second half of the game. With 2:23 left in the game, the Grizz were up by 4 points, 105-101. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to hold on for the win. While there are certainly no moral victories, there were a lot of good things in Saturday’s game.
If we can play like that every night, we got ourselves a chance.
Let’s Hear it for the J’s (Ja, Jaren and Jae)
- Morant was the leading scorer for the Grizz with 26 points, 6 assists, 5 steals and 2 rebounds in 32 minutes (10-16 FG; 1-2 3PT). Saturday marked Morant’s eighth game with 20+ points. He had a career high five steals. He literally does something highlight worthy almost every night. This is his 15th game in the league. Let that sink all the way in.
- Crowder had a season high 21 points (8-13 FG; 4-9 3PT), with 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 1 block in 34 minutes.
- Jackson scored 20 points (8-16 FG; 4-7 3PT) and had 7 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block in 34 minutes. In the last meeting with the Lakers, Jackson scored 7 points and only played 18 minutes and had five fouls. Saturday he had only two fouls. In case you didn’t know, good things happen when Jaren Jackson Jr. is on the court.
Head to Head Stats
- The Grizz were 48.3% from the field (43-89) and 46.7% from three (14-30). They held the Lakers to 45.2% (38-84) and 33.3% from three (13-39).
- The Lakers attempted 29 free throws, while the Grizz only took 13. However, in the last meeting with the Lakers, Anthony Davis alone took 27 free throws. So, there was definite improvement there.
- The Grizz grabbed seven more rebounds than the Lakers (47-40).
- The Lakers had 16 turnovers leading to 23 Grizz points. The Grizz had 22 turnovers leading to 29 points by the Lakers.
- The Lakers bench outscored the Grizz bench 32-25.
Other Noteworthy Stats
- LeBron James led all scorers with 30 points (14-27), 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. He played 39 minutes.
- After scoring 40 points and grabbing 20 rebounds in the last meeting with the Grizz, Anthony Davis was held to 22 points (7-14) and 4 rebounds Saturday.
- Kyle Anderson came off the bench for 24 minutes of action with 11 points (5-11), 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal and 1 block.
- Rookie Brandon Clarke grabbed a game high and career high 11 rebounds Saturday night. He also chipped in 8 points (4-7), 2 assists and 1 steal in 21 minutes.
Ja Morant on losing by one point to the team with the league’s best record:
“Tonight showed what type of team we are and who we want to be. Never satisfied with losing, but I can say I’m satisfied with how we played tonight. We played together, competed to the end and just came up short.”
Jae Crowder on competing:
“We have to play better on any given night. I feel like we brought it tonight because of who we were playing. Good teams bring it every night, no matter their opponent. So, once we learn from this game, we can continue to build, take this to Indiana and get us a win on the road.”
Jaren Jackson Jr. on team chemistry:
“We understand that if we bring it we’re always gonna be in ball games. Little things like that we learn more and more every day. We have to focus on our effort because our youth and energy can sometimes win out if we’re running hard and we’re playing defense and we’re scrambling and wearing teams down and playing in transition. So, I think those are the things we’ve gotta focus on.”
Grizz head to Indiana to face the Pacers Monday at 6 p.m. CST.
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