Lakers @ Grizzlies recap 2/28/23

Well, NBA fans, as I am sure you've heard. NO LeBron for at least 2-3 weeks. He was coming off a heroic performance in which he popped something in his foot and then popped his collar on Luka. The Mavs are willing the Lakers to a much-needed victory. That awful feeling I was talking about in the last recap... well, I hate to say I told you so. I told you so. The NBA's most decorated player since Mr. Mike Jeff Jordan. LeBron will be sitting out this playoff push. Whether Anthony Davis likes it or not. The fate of the Laker season is now resting solely on his shoulders. How will he respond tonight in Memphis? My prediction is the Lakers hang close with a monster game from AD. Still, I think the Grizzlies will be too much tonight and give the Lakers some payback for their last matchup in LA, where "unc" Shannon Sharpe lead the Lakers to a victory upsetting Dillion Brooks and the "gang."



LAL: D'Angelo Russell, LeBron James, Scotty Pippen Jr., Cole Swider

MEM: Jake LaRavia, Steven Adams

(LeBron sitting on the bench in protective boot)

 1st quarter


"Slow starts for both teams."

Troy Brown would be the first to scratch for the Lakers hitting a open jumper from the corner. Anthony Davis is showing a lot of energy early on the boards and trying to get shots close to the rim. Midway through the first, the Lakers would keep the game close. The game was a gritty one so far.  Anthony Davis with a quick 6Reb, 5PTs midway through the first. The Lakers would continue to pressure the Grizzlies to get into the bonus with 4:14 left in the quarter. Ja Morant would start the game in a bit of a funk shooting 1-6 from the field. Credit goes to LA's defense which looks spirited, and without LeBron on the court, you have all the players switching and moving with a purpose. The Lakers would really own the first frame when rebounding the basketball. The shots weren't falling, but the team was making a conscious effort to crash the boards, grabbing 4 offensive rebounds. Both teams battled evenly through the first, but ex-Clipper Luke Kennard would grab the jump ball with less than 5 seconds remaining. Dribble down the left side of the court and pull up, knocking down a three-pointer, nothing but net. The Grizzlies lead 26-22 after the first quarter.

2nd quarter

"This game is ugly." Dillion brooks would open the second quarter with a nice drive to the lane finishing with his right hand. The Lakers would come down and turn the ball over. The Lakers need to clean up the offense and play as perfectly as possible, having a little margin of error without James. Lonnie Walker, who has seen all of his playing time go away since the trade, has played in two consecutive games. Providing an offensive spark for the lakers. Austin Reaves would hit a three and set up Waynen Gabriel with a dish near the rim, looking like the primary ball handler tonight. Lonnie Walker would have a rim-rattling dunk putting an exclamation point on a 7-0 Laker run, taking the lead 37-34 LAL. Walker would score 10 PTS in 10 minutes of play for Los Angeles. AD would continue to pressure the Memphis Grizzlies, collecting 4 BLK shots midway through the second quarter. The Grizzlies would miss 12 straight field goals until Ja Morant took a rebound and went coast to coast, finishing above the rim and forcing Darvin Ham to take a time-out with the Lakers up two points, 38-36. Anthony Davis would show discomfort in his wrist, flexing it every time down the court. After several unsuccessful offensive trips for the Lakers, Morant would take a back screen and go sky-high for an alley-oop slam. Austin Reaves would come down, score a three-point bucket, and earn a trip to the charity line, hitting the free throw. Reaves would follow that up with yet another three-point shot, scoring 15PTs and going 4-4 from beyond the arc. Anthony Davis would send Ja Morant's highlight attempt at the rim for his fifth block of the night! AD IS LOCKED IN.



The half would come to a close after a hard-fought first two quarters. This game was far from beautiful but very competitive. The Lakers would finish the half on a 7-0 run taking the lead into the break.

Lakers lead Memphis 49-46


Reaves: 15PTS on 4/5 shooting.

Desmond Bane: 12PTS 3REB

3rd quarter 

"Both teams pick up the pace."

Dillion Brooks would open the third with one of his patent awkward three-point shots bringing the game square at 49.

Anthony Davis would continue to dominate the paint, grabbing another board and earning a trip to the free throw line. Malik Beasley finally scratched for the first time all night on a transition layup. Dennis Schroder would add to the Laker run by driving to the lane, hitting a right-handed layup, and pushing the lead to 55-49. The Grizzlies would put together a run of their own off a couple of Laker turnovers, tying the game at 55 and eventually taking the lead on a pair of Ja Morant free throws. After back-to-back Anthony Davis slams, Schroder would dribble the ball down with Dillion Brooks guarding him. Fake the escape dribble out to the three-point line instead of driving to the lane and scooping in a beautiful wrong foot wrong hand layup. Brooks would commit his 4th foul on the play, which sent him to the Memphis bench. The Laker point guard would follow that up on the very next possession hitting from beyond the arc, pushing his game total to 10PTS and 6AST with over six minutes remaining in the third. The Lakers lead 65-63.

The two-man game between Schroder and AD would continue with another Ally-Oop that Anthony Davis would follow up with a beautiful turnaround jumper at the free throw line. Wasting no time, Ja Morant would drive the ball back at Davis, slamming into his chest, sending AD into the paint finishing the layup, and getting fouled. 71-69 Memphis. The pace has definitely picked up all the way. AD would record another block and take the rebound coast to coast, where he was tripped up by Luke Kennard, falling abruptly to the floor. He would get up and hit a pair of free throws. Ja Morant would come down and get Davis on a string finishing a beautiful in-and-out baseline drive on the opposite side of the rim, with AD narrowly missing yet another block. Morant would come down after Davis missed three. The euro stepped into a jelly layup bringing the Fed Ex arena to its feet as the Grizzlies began playing at their pace. Ja would relish walking over to his dad and dapping him up, a courtside staple at all Memphis games.

AD and Morant would trade another pair of buckets, now becoming a duel. The top started coming off the roof as Ja and company poured on offensively, now clicking on all cylinders. After an exciting third quarter which saw Ja Morant notch his 32nd point of the quarter on a breathtaking layup over Wenyen Gabriel. Morant would SLAM back first onto the floor, momentarily staying grounded in pain. Thankfully the young star stood up and was helped to the bench. 

The Grizzlies lead the Lakers 93-84

4th Quarter

To start the 4th, Rui H and Darren Jackson would trade a couple of threes. Lonnie Walker Jr would also hit from beyond the arc. After a few mins of helter-skelter basketball, favoring the run and gunning Grizzlies, Desmon Bane would drive the lane and hit a tough floater drawing a foul in the process. Memphis leads 102-92. Off of Bane's missed free throw, the Lakers turn the ball over on a lazy pass in transition stolen by Memphis big Xavier Tillman. He would take a couple of long strides and slam it home, putting the Grizzlies up 104-92 and forcing a Ham timeout, and you could start to feel like the Lakers were on the ropes.


A dunk of the year finalist. I'll just let you watch...



On the other end, he would spike AD's layup attempt things were looking dim for LA. 

Lonnie Walker would hit from long range, keeping the game respectable and notching his 21st point of the night. Memphis leads 110-100. Malik Beasley hits 2nd three of the game, a seven-point game. On a stagnant Laker possession with only 4:30 left, Anthony Davis would drive the lane on the Defensive player of the year candidate Jackson, scoring and finishing an AND-1 layup bringing the Lakers within two possessions. Not to be outdone in his own gym Ja Morant would probe the middle of the paint, rising up and double-clutching a little hybrid jump shot floater that he possesses so well. Putting Memphis back up 114-106 with 3:00 left in the game.

Ja Morant would put an exclamation point on this game. Delivering the final nail in the Laker coffin. Desmond Bane would take a terrible entry pass from Dennis Schroder and blow past the Laker PG, who showed zero effort to get back on defense. Resulting in a Bane to Morant Ally-oop, which ultimately ended any chance at a Laker comeback.

Memphis defeats the Lakers 121-109


  • The Lakers put up a decent fight, played tough, and battled back, considering they did not shoot the ball well.
  • Jerred Vanderbilt was not 100%. He did not look good in this game. I heard on the commentary that he was wearing a wrap on his leg. Keep an eye on that.
  • The Lakers had 29 turnovers. Turrrrible.
  • Ja Morant, unlike Luka Doncic, is historically a slow starter. As the game continued, he seemingly decided, "it's time to turn it on." Morant would score 28 points in the third, setting a franchise record. Although impressive, I would like to see Ja dominate entire games from start to finish. 

Thank you everyone for taking the time talk hoops with me. As always please give us a follow on IG and Twitter @GOODOWORKSWORLD.

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