In a game that will mostly be remembered in NBA history for Fox Sports media personality Shannon Sharpe trying to fight the entire Grizzlies roster, the Los Angeles Lakers showed some scrappy spirit of their own, coming back from a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter to snap Memphis’ 11-game winning streak with a 122-121 victory.
After Los Angeles battled and battled for the entire final frame to come back, Dennis Schröder came up with a clutch steal, swiping the ball way from Desmond Bane and making a layup on the break to put the Lakers ahead for good. After some missed shots and free throws from the Grizzlies in the closing seconds, the Lakers managed to escape with a completely unexpected and improbable victory.
“I wish I could have watched it as a fan instead of sweating underneath my half-zip,” said Lakers head coach Darvin Ham with a laugh after the game, seemingly not entirely realizing that such a nervy finish wasn’t exactly relaxing for fans , either.
LeBron James finished with 23 points on 8-21 shooting, while Schröder added 19 points on just 11 shots to provide him with some help. Russell Westbrook (29 points, 10-18 shooting) once again provided a much-needed spark off the bench.
The Lakers outshooting the Grizzlies (33-41 vs. 26-40) from the free-throw line loomed wide down the stretch, especially when the purple and gold went Hack-a-Adams in the fourth quarter. Additionally, holding Ja Morant to 22 points on 9-29 shooting qualifies as about as big an achievement as this team’s defense has managed over the course of this year.
LA is now 21-25 on the season, just one game in the loss column behind the Portland Trail Blazers and Phoenix Suns for the 11th seed in the Western Conference. With Anthony Davis’ return seemingly imminent, stealing a win from the jaws of defeat after a few tough losses in the last week could be big for the team’s psyche.