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The 14-2 Lakers, who own the NBA‘s best record, have won seven straight. The 5-10 Grizzlies have lost three consecutive games.
This win did not come easily for the Lakers, who fell behind by as many as 15 points in the second quarter and trailed 105-100 after a Brandon Clarke tip-in with 3:24 remaining.
However, Anthony Davis keyed a 9-0 Lakers run in response. The big man hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 105 and made a tip-in to end the run and extend L.A.’s lead to 109-105 with 54.3 seconds left.
A Dillon Brooks free throw and Ja Morant two-pointer cut the lead to 109-108, and the Grizzlies got the ball back with 1.3 seconds left following a missed three-pointer from LeBron James.
But the Grizz turned the ball over inbounding from their own end, effectively sealing the game.
James led all scorers with 30 points, and Davis dominated on the defensive end with five blocks and three steals.
For Memphis, Ja Morant continued his case to be named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year with 26 points, six dimes and five steals. Jae Crowder and Jaren Jackson Jr. complemented Morant’s efforts by combining for 41 points and 13 boards.
Lakers G/F LeBron James: 30 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists
Lakers F Anthony Davis: 22 points, 5 blocks, 3 steals
Lakers G Rajon Rondo: 14 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds
Grizzlies G Ja Morant: 26 points, 6 assists, 5 steals
Grizzlies F Jae Crowder: 21 points, 6 rebounds
Grizzlies F Jaren Jackson Jr.: 20 points, 7 rebounds
Ja Morant Shines in Memphis’ Loss
The Lakers entered Saturday third in defensive rating, per NBA.com, but you wouldn’t have known that based on Morant’s performance Saturday.
The superstar rookie dominated, nearly helping the Grizz pull off a huge upset over the league’s best team.
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