Ja Morant, Grizzlies Beat LeBron James, Lakers to Snap LAL's 4-Game Win Streak

Doric SamJanuary 10, 2022

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 9: Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies plays defense on LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the game on January 9, 2022 at Crypto.Com Arena in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

The Memphis Grizzlies' win streak has now reached nine games after a 127-119 road win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. Desmond Bane had 23 points as Memphis improved to 28-14.

Jaren Jackson Jr. had 21 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks. Ja Morant added 16 points and a couple of spectacular plays to add to his highlight reel.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

No words for Ja Morant. <a href="https://t.co/f3tyqmq6Rk">pic.twitter.com/f3tyqmq6Rk</a>

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

JA. WOW. <a href="https://t.co/hQs7UaKYkg">pic.twitter.com/hQs7UaKYkg</a>

The final score was not indicative of the entire game. The Grizzlies led by as many as 29 before Los Angeles made a late run.

It's the second time in less than two weeks that the Grizzlies have taken down the Lakers after coming back from a 14-point second-half deficit to defeat them on Dec. 29. It was the final meeting of the year between the two teams and Memphis wins the season series 3-1.

The Lakers fell to 21-20 and had their four-game win streak come to an end. LeBron James led the team with 35 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in the loss.

Notable Stats

G Desmond Bane, MEM: 23 points

F Jaren Jackson Jr., MEM: 21 points, 12 rebounds, 6 blocks

G Ja Morant, MEM: 15 points

F LeBron James, LAL: 35 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists

G Russell Westbrook, LAL: 6 points (2-of-12 FG)

Grizzlies Outwork Lakers on Their Way to Victory

Memphis played with energy and effort that were unmatched by Los Angeles on Sunday. The Grizzlies outworked the Lakers on both ends of the floor all night.

Jackson set the tone early with 14 of his 21 points in the first half. He did a great job of using his size and taking advantage of a weak Los Angeles interior defense.

Memphis Grizzlies @memgrizz

๐Ÿฆ„ 14 points. <br>๐Ÿฆ„ 8 rebounds <br>๐Ÿฆ„ 4 blocks<br><br>........and this move. <a href="https://twitter.com/jarenjacksonjr?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@jarenjacksonjr</a> // <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBAAllStar?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBAAllStar</a> <a href="https://t.co/6gJXl2qkjI">pic.twitter.com/6gJXl2qkjI</a>

Bane also started off hot and kept it going in the second half. He shot an efficient 5-of-8 from beyond the arc on the night.

Memphis Grizzlies @memgrizz

update dat scouting report. des is money. <a href="https://twitter.com/DBane0625?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DBane0625</a> // <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBAAllStar?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBAAllStar</a> <a href="https://t.co/LH5RaGBxwc">pic.twitter.com/LH5RaGBxwc</a>

The Grizzlies pulled away in the second half as more players got in on the fun, scoring 42 points in the third quarter alone. Kyle Anderson and Brandon Clarke, who had 14 points apiece, punished Los Angeles in the paint. 

Memphis upped the tempo and constantly pushed the pace while the Lakers couldn't keep up. The Grizzlies totaled 25 fast-break points in the game.

Bally Sports: Grizzlies @GrizzOnBally

BANGEOOOOOOOOO! <a href="https://t.co/Xw2OgBSClb">pic.twitter.com/Xw2OgBSClb</a>

Bally Sports: Grizzlies @GrizzOnBally

๐˜ฝ๐˜พ ๐˜ผ๐™‰๐˜ฟ ๐™Š๐™‰๐™€ ๐Ÿ™Œ <a href="https://t.co/KFukBSV7mt">pic.twitter.com/KFukBSV7mt</a>

Bally Sports: Grizzlies @GrizzOnBally

DMELT AND ONE <a href="https://t.co/hJgci54kxw">pic.twitter.com/hJgci54kxw</a>

The Grizzlies showed why they are the league's hottest team and looked very comfortable despite playing on the road. A total of six players scored in double figures on Sunday night.

If Memphis can continue playing like this, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the team make a deep postseason run.

James Gets No Help From Supporting Cast

Sunday's game was another edition of an all-too-common occurrence this season for the Lakers: LeBron James had a phenomenal performance, but the rest of the team struggled to get anything going.

After playing to a tie at the end of the first quarter, Los Angeles players not named James went cold. The Lakers shot 20-of-50 from the field in the first half. James had 23 of the team's 52 first-half points on 9-of-13 shooting.

Los Angeles' defensive woes also reemerged as they allowed the Grizzlies to shoot 55.3 percent from the field in the first two quarters.


๐Ÿ˜ฑ LeBron!<br><br>He's up to 23 PTS as the <a href="https://twitter.com/Lakers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Lakers</a> take on the Grizzlies on NBA League Pass: <a href="https://t.co/oz9UCQxdQa">https://t.co/oz9UCQxdQa</a> <a href="https://t.co/1W2LF5sUxx">pic.twitter.com/1W2LF5sUxx</a>

Mike Trudell @LakersReporter

Monkโ€™s 1 for 8, Bradley 1 for 8, Westbrook 1 for 7 as LALโ€™s starters outside of LeBron (9 for 13) just canโ€™t find a shot that will go down.<br><br>Memphis, meanwhile, has been very efficient, at 55.6% as a team and 64.3% from 3.<br><br>Grizz lead 62-50.

Things got out of hand in the second half when Los Angeles fell behind by as many as 29. James continued his strong play but while he surpassed 30 points, he was the only player on the team in double figures for a while until Talen Horton-Tucker finally reached the mark late in the third quarter.

Spectrum SportsNet @SpectrumSN

LEBRON WITH AUTHORITY! ๐Ÿ”จ <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LakeShow?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LakeShow</a> <a href="https://t.co/IeKx65VASD">pic.twitter.com/IeKx65VASD</a>

Mike Trudell @LakersReporter

LeBron is 13 for 17 (76.5%), an uber-efficient line any night, but one that stands out especially with the rest of the team struggling to hit shots, hitting only 14 collectively (shooting 29.1%).

It was an ugly performance that destroyed any momentum the Lakers had built during their four-game win streak. It seems like Los Angeles can't find any consistency this season, and that is a major problem for a team that hopes to make a run in the playoffs.

The way the Lakers are playing now, it's hard to imagine them beating any of the elite teams in the Western Conference in a seven-game series.

What's Next?

The Grizzlies will look to make it 10 straight wins on Tuesday at home against the Golden State Warriors. The Lakers will try to bounce back on Wednesday against the Sacramento Kings.