MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 25 points, Desmond Bane added 23 and the Memphis Grizzlies pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 108-95 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night.
“I thought our activity was fantastic defensively,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said. “I thought the Lakers came out and kind of imposed their will in the first quarter, but we just kept making those winning plays throughout.”
Memphis opened the fourth quarter on a 9-2 run, pushing the lead to double-digits for the first time for either team. With that spurt, Memphis extended its lead to 94-80. Los Angeles never got its deficit to single digits.
“I didn’t know what we were going to look like,” Bane said of learning about an hour before the game that Brooks was out. He said the Grizzlies have had games in which they didn’t have the players individually, but not both missing.
“One thing I did know was that we were going to fight, regardless,” Bane said. “Before the game started, I told everybody to have fun. Just do what we do and have fun playing the game.”
Memphis, which leads the league in points in the paint, was forced into long-range shots early by the Lakers defense, and the shooting percentage reflected the situation.
But in the second quarter, Memphis was able to run more. The transition baskets and more Los Angeles turnovers contributed to the Grizzlies building a 59-53 lead at the half.
“The second quarter was where the energy of the game shifted,” Laker coach Frank Vogel said. “Our turnovers went way up. We didn’t rebound the basketball. We were slow to every loose ball.”
He added that there was “too much casualness to our approach.”
The Lakers continued having trouble holding onto the ball, and by the end of the third quarter had committed 19 turnovers that led to 22 Memphis points. That helped the Grizzlies carry an 85-78 lead into the fourth.
By the end of the game, Memphis forced 22 Los Angeles turnovers.
“Defensively, I thought we were really good. We just turned the ball over,” James said. “When you hold a team to 108 points and 27 of those came off turnovers, the defense was really good. Offensively, we were not good at all.”