PREVIEW: Lakers looking for easier time vs. Grizzlies

By Field Level Media
Feb 10, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) controls the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Luguentz Dort (5) during the overtime period at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Anderson said there’s a reason he enjoyed his most productive outing of the season in a 130-114 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday.

“I’ve come a long way as far as shooting the ball,” Anderson said after he scored 27 points and converted a career-high six 3-pointers against the Hornets, according to the team’s website. “I’ve still got a ways to go. I still want to improve, but tonight was a little validation that I’ve put the right work in. But I definitely want to keep going.”

The Grizzlies will try to put together another solid performance when they visit the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.

Memphis set a franchise record by making 23 3-pointers on 49 attempts against Charlotte. Dillon Brooks scored 20 points and Desmond Bane contributed a season-high 18 for the Grizzlies, who ended a four-game skid. Brooks and Bane both connected on 4-of-8 3-pointers. Grayson Allen came off the bench to hit five 3-pointers and finish with 18 points.

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Seven Grizzlies reached double figures, including Ja Morant, who had 15 points and 11 assists, Jonas Valanciunas (12 points, 15 rebounds) and Tyus Jones (12 points).

Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins applauded his club’s third-quarter defense when the Grizzlies outscored the Hornets 31-15.

“They shot the ball well,” Jenkins said of the Hornets, who made 54.9 percent of their shots. “A lot of that was in the first half, but to come out and put a stamp down with a 15-point defensive quarter, that was huge for us.”

The Lakers came up big in overtime in three straight contests during their six-game winning streak. LeBron James had 25 points, seven assists and six rebounds, and the Lakers held off the Oklahoma City Thunder 114-113 on Wednesday.

Montrezl Harrell had 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting, Dennis Schroder scored 19 and Kyle Kuzma added 15 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers, who recorded their second overtime win in three days over the Thunder. The Lakers defeated the Detroit Pistons in double overtime Saturday.

Los Angeles played without Anthony Davis (Achilles) and Alex Caruso (hand) for the second game in a row. However, the Thunder played with only eight players in each game, and they were without leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in Wednesday’s contest.

“I think each of the three games was a little bit different,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “We just took a little while each game to figure out our opponent. So, it’s just one of those things we have to be better. … We weren’t at our best in these three games, but we found a way to grind them out and we’re happy to get three ‘W’s.'”

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A 3-pointer by Wes Matthews, who scored 10 points, with 41.4 seconds remaining in overtime was the difference Wednesday. James forced overtime by hitting a trey with 19.6 seconds left in regulation as the Lakers rallied from a 10-point first-half deficit to prevail. They also came back from double digits in Monday’s win.

–Field Level Media