The Los Angeles Lakers were without Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball in their Martin Luther King Jr. Day showcase against the Memphis Grizzlies, and it showed in an ugly 123-114 loss. The Lakers made a late push, but a horrific third quarter was far too much to overcome on the road.
Giving up 37 points coming out of halftime to the Grizzlies, one of the worst teams in the league, was a foul enough infraction to call the game right then and there. The Lakers managed to finally flip the switch in the final frame, scoring 37 of their own points to the Grizzlies’ 26, but things weren’t much better in the first half. It was far too little, far too late in a game that was tough to watch.
Jordan Clarkson had a horrendous game, going 2-of-13 from the field in 16 minutes. The Lakers needed Clarkson to step up in the absence of Ball, but it simply didn’t play out that way. Kyle Kuzma had a strong all-around game, scoring 18 points on four-of-eight shooting from deep, five assists and seven rebounds. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led all scorers with 27 points.
The Lakers’ defense didn’t the energy and execution it needed as a unit to survive the absence of both Ingram and Ball, and it was a forgettable 48 minutes of basketball from the purple and gold. The highlight of the day-game may have been Gary Payton II making his debut and finishing with four points, four assists and two blocks.
It’s always a big day when you can give up 15 points and 12 assists to Tyreke Evans. The Lakers head out to Oklahoma City Thunder for a Wednesday night throwdown.