LeBron and the Los Angeles Lakers are heading to Memphis, where they face the Grizzlies. Even though the hosts play without their best player, Ja Moran, their results are still solid. Furthermore, the Grizzlies have a better record at the moment than the 2019 champions.
Therefore, the outcome of this matchup is important for either side. The LAL is 13-12 and sitting sixth in the West, while the Grizzlies have 14 triumphs and 11 losses, two places below the upcoming rivals. So we might say that this is a direct battle for the playoff seed.
The Grizzlies are coming off a loss last night against the Dallas Mavericks, while the Lakers took down their old foes, the Boston Celtics, at Crypto.com Arena in a classic.
The Big Three is Available
All three of the Lakers’ superstars – LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook played against the Celtics. And the final result of the match was positive, which wasn’t the case without one of them in the lineup.
Lakers cruised past the archenemies, posting a 117-102 win with James dropping 30 points playing superbly on both ends. Russell Westbrook was right behind King James, with 24 points and 11 assists, while Anthony Davis did the dirty work, collecting 16 boards and protecting the rim on the defensive side. The Eyebrow contributed with 17 points on the offensive side of the ball.
Even though the purple and gold shot only 29.6% for three points, their overall FG percentage was very good, 51.6%. The hosts made the difference inside the paint, scoring 66 points, 24 more than the rivals.
First Loss Without Morant For Memphis
The Grizzlies were on a streak of five consecutive victories, which saw them defeat the Kings, Raptors, OKC, Mavericks, and the Heat before losing to the Mavs last night, 104-96. It was something just a few expected, but it happened.
Memphis had four players with a double-digit number of points, which is a direct cause of the defeat. Usually, the Grizzlies’ offense is very diverse, and several players score ten or more points. More importantly, they constantly pressure the rival, not decreasing the intensity and the pace of the game.
Jaren Jackson Jr. was the only one up to the task with 26 buckets, and the forward gave his best, but without proper support, there was no way for his team to avoid a failure. Dillon Brooks scored 15 points and Desmond Bane 14. The Grizzlies’ poor three-point shooting percentage also took a toll, hitting nine of 31 attempts.
“Old Guys” Taking This One
The Lakers have the oldest team in the NBA, just to remind you about that. However, we are pretty sure that they aren’t going to lose in Memphis because all three key players are healthy and ready to go. In those types of situations, the purple and gold are very strong and one of the top title contenders.
On the other hand, we have a team whose momentum was abruptly ended at home and who played less than 24 hours ago. Plus, their best player is out. So when we analyze a bit deeper here, our pick would be the Lakers to win and cover the -3.5 spread.
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