Ja Morant leads Grizzlies win over Lakers


December 29, 2021; Memphis, Tennessee, United States; Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) and forward LeBron James (6) and guard Malik Monk (11) fight for the rebound with Memphis Grizzlies center Steven Adams (4) in the first quarter at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Ja Morant reached a career-high six at 3 points and scored 41 points, a season-high, as the Memphis Grizzlies rallied for their third straight win, beating the Los Angeles Lakers 104-99 on Wednesday .

Desmond Bane scored 20 points and Jaren Jackson Jr. had 15 for Memphis, who trailed for most of the first three quarters before beating the Lakers 26-16 in the final period.

LeBron James tied his career high with eight 3-pointers and finished with 37 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists for the Lakers. Russell Westbrook recorded his eighth triple-double of the season with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists.

Malik Monk added 15 points for Los Angeles, which has lost six of its last seven games. James, who turns 37 on Thursday, has scored at least 30 points in six straight games.

Memphis trailed to 14 in the second half, but reduced the deficit to five early in the fourth quarter. Morant scored 3 points to cap a 12-0 run and give the Grizzlies a 99-92 lead with 4:28 remaining.

The Lakers moved closer to 100-97 on the James Board with 2:48 left. Los Angeles trailed 102-99 with 6.7 seconds left before James made a turnaround and Bane made two free kicks to seal the comeback victory.

Morant shot 13 of 27 from the field and 6 of 7 from outside the arc for Memphis, who have won 13 of their last 17 games. He also took 10 rebounds.

The Grizzlies were down 13 late in the first half before Morant scored seven straight points to bring Memphis down to 54-48 at the break.

James had 15 points and eight rebounds in the first half for the Lakers, who limited the Grizzlies to 35.4 percent on shots in the first 24 minutes, including 2 of 14 (14.3 percent) at 3 points.

Monk scored with 4:33 left in the third quarter to extend the Lakers’ lead to 80-66 before the Grizzlies ended the period with a 12-3 streak to reduce the deficit to 83-78. Morant capped the rally with a 3 point, giving him 14 points for the quarter.

Memphis has played without Dillon Brooks, John Konchar, Jarrett Culver and De’Anthony Melton, who are all in league health and safety protocol. Los Angeles was missing four players due to COVID protocol or lack of conditioning when reinstated after COVID-related absences.

– Media at field level

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