JAREN Jackson Jr. hit five 3-pointers and scored 31 points, Marcus Smart added 29 points with a season-high eight 3-pointers and the Memphis Grizzlies extended the Los Angeles Lakers’ woes with a 127-113 victory Friday night (Saturday morning, Jan. 6, 2024 PH time).
Desmond Bane had 24 points and 13 assists while Ja Morant scored 21 points for Memphis, whose starting lineup combined for 21 of a season-high 23 3-pointers on the way to just its second win in six games.
Ziaire Williams added 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter while the Grizzlies pulled away from the Lakers, who lost their fourth consecutive game.
LeBron James scored 32 points and Anthony Davis had 31 in the Lakers’ 10th loss in 13 games since winning the inaugural In-Season tournament.
Los Angeles had won six consecutive home games over the Grizzlies in the past 12 months, including three straight in the Lakers’ first-round playoff upset of the second-seeded Grizz last spring.
Austin Reaves had 19 points and a career-high 12 assists, but the Lakers dropped to 0-2 to begin a 12-game stretch with just one game outside of Los Angeles.
The Lakers played without two regulars and frequent starters: D’Angelo Russell missed his third straight game with a bruised tailbone, and Rui Hachimura missed his second in a row with a strained left calf.
In the opener of a three-game trip, Memphis overcame 19 turnovers and took control down the stretch, ending the game with a 24-10 run that started with Jackson’s fifth 3-pointer with 7:28 to play.
During the third quarter, Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins got a technical foul for stepping onto the court during play to argue about a no-call during a loose ball scramble between James and Jackson.
Jenkins impeded Taurean Prince leading the Lakers’ fast break the other way and then fought aggressively to get past his assistants as they held him back from the officials, but Jenkins somehow wasn’t ejected.
Before the game, Lakers coach Darvin Ham said he remains fully connected with owner Jeanie Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka despite the team’s recent struggles.
Ham is in his second year as Los Angeles’ coach after leading the team to the Western Conference finals last season, but he realizes his high-profile job comes with firing rumors whenever the Lakers struggle.
Fans have criticized Ham’s rotations and playing time allotments during the skid, including his unsuccessful move to an all-defense starting lineup around James and Davis during the current skid.
“I don’t mind people critiquing the job I’m doing,” Ham said. “All I’m going to do is keep my head down and continue to do my job until I can’t do it anymore.”
James hit four 3-pointers without a miss in the first quarter, scoring 14 points. The Grizzlies erased the Lakers’ lead before halftime with nine 3-pointers — including five from Smart, who had missed 16 consecutive 3-point attempts over the past five games before hitting his second try against the Lakers.
Memphis’ Vince Williams Jr. missed his second straight game with left foot soreness.