Ja Morant 26 points vs. Lakers 11.23.19
MEMvLAL: playlist 11.23.19
Postgame Report: Grizzlies drop close battle with Lakers 109-108
Key Stat of the Night
- The Grizzlies began the night 8-of-8 from behind the three-point line, including going 7-for-7 in the first quarter, as they held a 35-25 lead heading into the second quarter. For the remainder of the game the Grizzlies shot 6-of-22 from behind the arc (27.2 percent).
Key Run of the Night
- The Grizzlies led 105-100 with 3:24 remaining in the game before the Lakers scored the next nine points over the next 2:30 of play to give Los Angeles a 109-105 lead with 0:54 remaining in the game. The Grizzlies scored the final four points but could not convert a long inbounds pass with 1.3 seconds on the clock to potentially win the game.
In a nail biter finish, the Memphis Grizzlies fell to the Los Angeles Lakers 109-108 inside FedExForum on Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd.
On a night where the Grizzlies connected on their first eight three-pointers of the game and led by as many as 15 points, Memphis was unable to overcome a late fourth-quarter run by Los Angeles as they fell one-point short against the Lakers.
The Grizzlies used their hot shooting in the first quarter to take command on the game early on. The Grizzlies ended the first period on a 14-4 run as they would take a 35-25 lead heading into the second. However, the Lakers would respond late in the second quarter with a quick 11-0 run to make it a 53-50 game with 3:49 left in the half. The two teams would exchange leads nine times throughout the third quarter, as the Lakers led 85-84 going into the last period.
The Grizzlies trailed 89-94 with 9:09 left in the game before exploding on a 16-4 run, highlighted by a Ja Morant steal as he then took it coast-to-coast and finished with an acrobatic layup to give the Grizzlies a 98-94 lead with 6:33 to play. However, the turning points of the game came when the Lakers trailed the Grizzlies 105-100 with 3:24 to play. Los Angeles took control of the game late as they went on a 9-0 run to give themselves a 109-105 lead with only 0:54 remaining in the game. The Grizzlies were able to score the final three points of the game. However, it would not be enough as the Lakers escaped with a one-point victory.
Memphis was led by Ja Morant who finished the evening with 26 points, six assists and five steals on the night. Jaren Jackson Jr. posted 20 points (8-16 FG, 4-7 3P) and seven rebounds while adding his fourth game this season with four-or-more three-pointers in only 14 appearances. Jackson accomplished this twice in 58 games during his rookie season. Jae Crowder added a season-high 21 points while knocking down four threes on the night. Brandon Clarke grabbed a career and team-high 11 rebounds as the Grizzlies dropped to 5-10 on the year.
The Lakers were led by LeBron James, who combined for 30 points, six rebounds and four assists. Anthony Davis tallied 22 points and four rebounds on the night while shooting 7-of-14 from the floor. Rajon Rondo added 14 points off the bench and Dwight Howard added 10 points as the Lakers improved to 14-2 on the season.
The Grizzlies will hit the road as they take on the Indiana Pacers on Monday, Nov. 25 at 6 p.m. CT inside of Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Fans can watch the game on FOX Sports Southeast or listen on 92.9 FM ESPN.
On tonight’s game:Heck of a game by our guys. Tons of credit. I’m super proud of their efforts from the beginning of the game to the end of the game. One point loss against the best team in the league. I know there’s no moral victories, but how our guys competed for 48 minutes, I’m beyond proud given how we played the last two games. Had a chance to win at the end. Couple of plays on offense, big time rebound at the end that we have to learn from, but we got significantly better today, and I’m proud of how they played. If we can play like that every night we have ourselves a chance.
On the Grizzlies’ pace:I thought our pace was great. 21 fast-break points, I think, at halftime. They locked down on us defensively in that second half. Got to find ways to keep getting the pace, especially when teams are going on runs. I felt like our defensive activity really ignited us to have a heck of a first quarter, and I think we racked up like 19 assists in the first half too. I think our pace was great. Guys were getting rim runs, finding their open teammates, but it’s a credit to our defensive activity to get to that pace that we need to play at.
On the Lakers’ comeback:I think they changed up their coverages. They got a little bit more physical. Compared to our first game against them, we didn’t handle it as well. They’re a heck of a team… I think they banged a couple threes to start the half. It had nothing to do with our defense really. We just had to weather the switches and all that stuff. I feel like we played great multiple actions to try to get open looks, and we just missed some shots. A couple possessions here and there where we could play a little bit better with the pace. I felt like they just kind of picked up their defensive physicality, their switching a little bit more, and that kind of slowed us down a little bit. To be within a possession at the end of the game, to withstand their runs, I’m proud of our guys to continue to find a way to get big buckets against one of the best defenses in the league.
On Jaren Jackson Jr.’s contribution to the offense:For him to be very versatile, plays off the bounce, hitting threes… He’s an inside-out player. It’s huge for his growth. He’s still really young in his career, so as he’s identifying those opportunities to be in attack mode I think it really benefits our offense. We need another dimension outside of just our point guards being playmakers. To have him be a playmaker for us I think is huge.
On the Grizzlies’ youth:Like I said to them after the game, super proud. Their effort was unbelievable. Our defensive activity set a tone to start the game. If we can play up to that standard night in and night out you’re going to hopefully have a chance to win more ball games. Obviously, fourth quarter, couple moments there where we have to execute a little bit better. But what they were able to do for a majority of the game, that’s where we have to be. That’s wheat we’ve hung our hat on. A week ago, it kind of slipped away from us, but if they can kind of engrain that into their mind, this is what it is. This is the fun style to compete that way. I’m super proud, and that’s the Grizzlies I love to be a part of.
On the out of bounds play near the end of the game:I was hopeful to get an elbow catch for JJ [Jaren Jackson Jr.] and then him and Ja [Morant] in a two-man game. But then they [the Lakers] switched it, denied our elbow catch which put JJ out above the perimeter, so it kind of blew up the play a little bit. Credit to the Lakers on taking that away from us. We were hopeful to get a drive and a flare on the backside. We kind of got our hands forced there. JJ takes the shot, we don’t get it. We got it back, and luckily we got a layup. One-point game. We just have to come up with some more stops down the stretch.
On the last minute of the game:Turned it over, missed a shot, got an offensive rebound, got a layup. They came down to call a timeout, and (we) didn’t have enough time to finish.
On why they didn’t continue the momentum from the first half:I think our pace. I put that on me. It starts with me pushing the ball. I feel like we slowed down. I was slowing the ball down and it kind of hurt us. We weren’t playing our style of basketball where we get out and run.
On only losing by one to the best team in the league:I think it just flat out shows it. That no matter what, we can be in ball games and win ball games. We weren’t able to close out tonight, but tonight showed what type of team are and who we want to be. Never satisfied with losing, but I can say I’m satisfied of how we played tonight. We played together, competed to the end and just came up short.
On finally getting to wear the teal jerseys tonight:It felt good. They’er nice. I hope we play in them again this year. If not, mine will be going up on my wall.
On not maintaining the big lead they had in the first half:Basketball is a game of runs. One team goes on a run, they went on a run and got back in the game. What you see after that is, they go up and then we go up. I just think that it’s a game of runs.
On getting praise from LeBron James on social media:Its special. I mean, its LeBron. The goat of, what I feel like, is our generation. One of the best players in this league. I mean it feels good just to be recognized just because I wasn’t coming out of high school.
On competing to stay in the game:I mean, well, they’re the best team in the league right now so I expect nothing less than to come out here and compete in front of our home crowd. We felt like we let one go in L.A. and we let one go tonight. We responded well, we just didn’t come out with the win tonight.
On playing well in the first half:We just played with a lot of good pace. We knew these guys were coming off a back-to-back. They played in OKC last night. I think we were getting the stops. Or if we weren’t, we were getting the ball out quickly, playing with pace, flying up the court and taking what they give us.
On competing with a top team:We have to play better. On any given night, I feel like we brought it tonight because of who we were playing. Good teams bring it every night no matter their opponent so once we learn from this game, we can continue to build, take this to Indiana and get us a win on the road. But it’s definitely something to build off of.
On if there are nights the team isn’t bringing it like tonight:For sure. One hundred percent. I think it’s just being with a young team. Knowing that shots may not fall on a nightly basis but your effort and energy has to be there on a nightly basis. So you have to take care of your bodies and be prepared to play at a maximum level each and every night.
- Ja Morant finished the night with 26 points, six assists and a career-high five steals in 33 minutes. This marked Morant’s eighth game of 20-or-more points this season. Morant entered tonight’s game averaging 23.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 6.6 assists in 27.3 minutes in his last seven home games. His five steals tied the single-game franchise rookie record (done eight times previously).
- Jaren Jackson Jr. finished with 20 points, seven rebounds and two steals while shooting 8-of-16 from the floor and 4-of-7 from three. This marked Jackson’s fourth game with four-or-more three-pointers in his first 14 games this season after having two such games in 58 games played during his rookie season.
- Tonight’s game marked the first time this season that Jaren Jackson Jr. and Ja Morant have scored 20+ points in the same game.
- Jae Crowder netted a season-high 21 points while knocking down 4-of-9 shots from behind the arc.
- Kyle Anderson led the Grizzlies second unit with 11 points, six rebounds and four assists while shooting 5-of-11 from the field.
- Brandon Clarke racked up a career-high and team-leading 11 rebounds on the night.
- LeBron James led all scorers with 30 points, six rebounds and four assists while grabbing his 9,000th career rebound.
Fans who want to support the Memphis Grizzlies and purchase 2019-20 Season Tickets can do so by calling (901) 888-HOOP or going online to grizzlies.com. Single Game Tickets are available for purchase at the FedExForum Box Office, ticketmaster.com, online at grizzlies.com or by calling 1-800-4NBA-TIX.