LOS ANGELES – The Lakers entered Sunday night with a winning streak, but in just two games, Ja Morant showed there are heights they have yet to reach.
In the first half, the 22-year-old threw himself into the path of a high archery shot by Avery Bradley, beating it with both hands from 12 meters in the air. In the third round, he flew up at the end of the attack, caught a lob from Desmond Bane and ducked his head downhill so it wouldn’t slam into the rim.
Not only can Morant – one of the NBA’s rising young stars – jump higher than any of the Lakers, but his team is better.
In a showdown between two teams in the upper middle of the Western Conference standings, Memphis (28-14) showed it was still an upper hand in a 127-119 Lakers defeat (21-20). The Grizzlies have taken the season-long streak, 3-1, reeling from victory in their last three meetings, and although LeBron James scored 35 points in a dazzling 14 of 19 shooting nights, he feel pretty lonely at the top of the Lakers stats. .
Most of the other Lakers were miserable because of the attack. James’ starting teammates (in Sunday’s squad 4-0) were just 8 for 39 from the field and a total of 22 points between them. No other starter has more than 7 points.
In the loss, James lifted the NBA’s all-time assists list to 7th, surpassing Oscar Robertson (9,887). Getting just seven assists to do so has been a chore, as the Lakers have missed a number of chances or painful openers right on the doorstep.
It marked another bad night for Russell Westbrook in a night where his scoring punch could come in handy. He’s just 2 in 12, packing with 6 points and 6 assists in 26 minutes. In the last six games, Westbrook has only achieved a 36.8% floor shot rate.
The final score seems to be much closer than it was for the majority of the game due to the fact that a reserve lineup came together for a messy run. On his way to a career-best 16 points, Austin Reaves helped lead the Lakers to a stunning 21-0 victory as both teams had their opening games. The Lakers will get seven points from the Grizzlies, who had to bring their regulars back to end the victory.
The Lakers are now just one game over .500 mid-season. And although their recent four-game winning streak, the longest of the season, has stoked optimism, Sunday’s defeat was a powerful reminder that they are still rocking in a worthy midfield. NBA – The Grizzlies are closer to the top.
While the Lakers were without Anthony Davis, the Grizzlies played without Dillon Brook, who had been lost in the game the previous day due to injury, and also missing Steven Adams, who had bruised the Lakers in previous meetings. .
But although Morant’s numbers (16 points, 7 assists) didn’t quite match the spectacular nature of his batting, he found plenty of help from the his teammates – 5 of them scored double figures.
The leader is Desmond Bane with 23 points. Besides going 5 for 8 from three, he also had time to exchange back and forth with James. James followed Bane in some of the attacks, but the Lakers’ defense had a harder time keeping track of Memphis’s shooters.
Reaves and Ellington drew with the second highest-scoring Laker, knocking out their 16 for the most part late in the game. Talen Horton-Tucker has 13 points.
https://www.sbsun.com/2022/01/09/lakers-go-cold-fall-to-red-hot-memphis-grizzlies/ The Lakers Turn Cold, Falling to the Red Memphis Grizzlies – San Bernardino Sun