In a bruising battle between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Grizzlies emerged victorious with a score of 103-93, knotting their NBA Western Conference playoff series at one game apiece. Despite the absence of star guard Ja Morant, Xavier Tillman led the Grizzlies with 22 points and 18 rebounds.
The Grizzlies’ defence proved to be too much for the Lakers. Tillman said their message to Morant was “We’ve got his back, and we’re going to hold it down for him.” Memphis Grizzlies led by as many as 20 points. Despite James scoring a game-high 28 points and Rui Hachimura adding 20, the Lakers could not mount a comeback in the second half.
The Lakers’ Anthony Davis suffered a small cut on his right eyelid LeBron James engaged in a verbal back-and-forth with Dillon Brooks. Brooks later dismissed concerns about showing more respect towards James, stating, “I don’t care. He’s old. I poke bears. I don’t respect someone until he gives me 40.”
Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 18 points, Desmond Bane added 17, and Brooks chipped in 12 for the Grizzlies. Tyus Jones, starting in place of Morant, added 10 points and eight assists. The Lakers’ Davis blocked five shots but only connected on one of nine shot attempts. Finishing with 13 points on four-of-14 shooting.
The Grizzlies’ victory sets up a crucial game three of the best-of-seven series in Los Angeles, where they will summon a “road warrior mentality” to try and take the lead in the series.
Additionally, the win was a statement for the Grizzlies. They were written off by many after losing game one and then losing their star player to injury. However, they rallied together and showed their grit and determination to even the series against a Lakers team that boasts some of the biggest names in the sport. With their strong defensive effort and impressive performances from Tillman, Jackson Jr., and others. The Grizzlies have set themselves up for a competitive series against the Lakers and are proving that they are a force to be reckoned with in the Western Conference.