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Shorthanded Lakers fall to Grizzlies in fourth quarter

The Lakers couldn’t get it done in the final quarter against the Grizzlies.

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NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Los Angeles Lakers Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a pair of strong performances from the class of 2016, the shorthanded Los Angeles Lakers were unable to out-grit and grind the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday at Staples Center and lost 107-99.

Ivica Zubac continued to make the most of his newfound chance to start, scoring 19 points on an efficient 8-12 shooting from the field to along with 4 rebounds and a game-high blocks. Defensively, he held his own against the likes of Jaren Jackson Jr. and Marc Gasol, but the Lakers struggled to protect the rim when he wasn’t on the floor, which is what ultimately doomed them.

Brandon Ingram also continued his strong comeback and scored 20 points on 8-15 shooting from the field and 1-3 shooting from behind the arc. It marked his first game with at least one made 3-pointer since Dec. 2.

However, he and the Lakers’ other perimeter players had a hard time staying on their defensive assignments, especially down the stretch. As a result, Memphis converted a whopping 53.8 percent of their 26 total 3-point attempts. In the fourth quarter alone, they shot 8-10 from behind the 3-point line.

Granted, the Grizzlies made some tough shots with the game in the line, but the Lakers left them unchecked on far too many possessions. Their film session leading up to their game on Tuesday won’t be a fun one.

Last but not least, LeBron James tallied 22 points, 14 rebounds and 7 assists, but he wasn’t exactly a difference maker on the defensive end, to put it kindly.

The Lakers will be back at it on Christmas Day to take on the Golden State Warriors in what will their first regular season matchup. Expect everyone to be at their best, and hopefully their healthiest, then.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Christian on Twitter at @RadRivas.

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