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Lakers vs. Grizzlies Game Preview: Poke the bear

Hopefully the Lakers can poke the bear and scratch the win column Tuesday night.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers look to scratch the win column for the first time in 2017 with the Memphis Grizzlies in town. The purple and gold have won just two games since December, but looked like the .500 team that raised hopes and washed down years of losing seasons last time around.

Marc Gasol is active despite suffering a left ankle sprain in the Grizzlies’ win over the Sacramento Kings on New Year’s Eve. Memphis enjoyed two days off, with the Lakers serving as their first test of 2017. A rested Grizzlies squad, with Gasol and Mike Conley active, won’t be an easy outing for the LA. Not that there are any “gimmes” left these days.

The last time these teams met the circumstances were very different. The Lakers were 10-12 on the year and at the end of a four-game road trip. The Grizzlies looked like the wounded team the Lakers could potentially leap frog on their way to the playoffs, down Conley who suffered a fractured vertebrae. Memphis won that game, and the 1-3 roadie was the first sign of things to come for LA.

There’s plenty of season left, but the Grizzlies did a fine job recovering from what looked like a debilitating injury to their leading man. Conley came back sooner than most expected, and they’re now firmly in control of their playoff destiny with a 22-14 record and top defense in the NBA. Memphis holds their opponents to a league-best 100.5 points per 100 possessions, so don’t expect the Lakers to come out guns blazing in this one.

Hopefully what we can anticipate is a continuation from the solid game they had against the Toronto Raptors to start the year. Enjoy the game!

Time: 7:30 p.m. PT

TV: Spectrum SportsNet, NBA TV

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