MEMPHIS, Tenn. — With Ja Morant out with a hand injury, the Grizzlies needed players to step up. Xavier Tillman and Desmond Bane did just that, helping Memphis even the series against the Lakers with a 103-93 win.
Tillman surprised with a huge 22 points. Bane came on strong to close the first quarter, scoring three straight buckets to extend the Grizzlies lead. His heater continued into the second quarter where he knocked down the first points of the quarter for Memphis, a three. He finished the night with 17 points.
The Grizzlies led by as many as 20 in the third quarter before the Lakers went on a 17-3 run to cut the deficit to single digits, 69-63. Memphis outscored LA 14-8 the rest of the way to stay ahead by 12 heading into the fourth.
Memphis was able to create separation early because of the Lakers’ carelessness with the ball. The Grizzlies turned five first quarter turnovers into 10 points and by the end of the half they’d forced two more for an additional five points.
Memphis’ defense made things difficult for the Lakers and forced them to shoot low percentages across the board. Nothing highlighted their defensive effort more than John Konchar elevating to block Anthony Davis on what looked like a clear drive to the rim.
The Lakers shot 35% from the field and 30% from three in the first half. During that stretch almost one-fourth of the Lakers points came from the line, where they shot 10-for-15. The Grizzlies only had five shots from the line at the end of the first half.
The Grizzlies and Lakers traded buckets for the majority of the fourth quarter, staving off LA from making a significant run.
The Grizzlies will play the Lakers in Los Angeles for Game Three on Saturday, April 22.