The LA Lakers were sleepwalking through most of the game against the Memphis Grizzlies and it almost proved costly. In the end, the Lakers had LeBron James and Anthony Davis while the Grizzlies didn’t. That proved to be the difference as the Lakers defeated the undermanned Grizzlies 94-92.
It was one of the ugliest outings for the Lakers who were clearly playing with less than 100 percent effort whereas the Grizzlies were playing as if their lives depended on the game. Clutch performances from James and Davis deflated the efforts by Memphis which was missing many of its key players including Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr.
Check out our five hits and flops from the LA Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies matchup:
Hit: LeBron James (LA Lakers)
After a lackadaisical first half, LeBron James scored 11 points in the third to rally the LA Lakers and give them a five-point lead midway through the quarter. James showed his entire repertoire to bring the Lakers back from the brink of a potential blowout.
In the fourth quarter, James scored 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field and 2-of-2 from the line. He made three clutch shots and an assist to buddy Anthony Davis. Finishing with 24 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists, James was the catalyst for this Lakers win.
Flop: Kyle Anderson (Memphis Grizzlies)
Kyle Anderson has been playing big this season and he had two 18-point outings in a row prior to Tuesday night’s battle with the LA Lakers. Anderson was averaging 16.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game before this game.
Against the world champs for the second time in three days and a chance to win the game, Anderson could only produce 10 points and five rebounds. There’s no question that the Memphis Grizzlies would have won had Anderson produced his usual numbers.
Hit: Anthony Davis (LA Lakers)
Anthony Davis kept the LA Lakers in the game during a sloppy, turnover-infested first half for the Purple and Gold. The All-Star forward made timely baskets including a couple of three-pointers that allowed his team to stay within striking distance of the Memphis Grizzlies.
In the second half, Davis partnered with LeBron James to give the LA Lakers the victory. He had a game-high 26 points and added 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals, and three blocks.
Flop: Kyle Kuzma (LA Lakers)
Coach Frank Vogel gave Kyle Kuzma the starting nod for the second straight game with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope still nursing an injury. Kuzma had a poor showing against the Memphis Grizzlies the second time around, mustering only five points in 30 minutes of playing time.
There was no sense of urgency from the entire team for much of the game but Kuzma took it to another level, taking only five shots and making two, with the last one coming off of a pass from James toward the end of the game.
Hit: Jonas Valanciunas (Memphis Grizzlies)
The inside presence of Jonas Valanciunas was crucial to the Memphis Grizzlies’ bid to upset the LA Lakers on Tuesday but his efforts came up a bit short. He managed to put up 13 points and 11 rebounds, winning his individual matchup with former Grizzlies star and now Lakers center Marc Gasol.
Valanciunas provided a tough inside presence for the Grizzlies who lost two straight to the Lakers on their back-to-back set.Published 06 Jan 2021, 10:04 IST