LOS ANGELES — While the Lakers got it close late, this felt like the kind of game the Grizzlies had been finding a way to win all season, while the Lakers had been finding ways to lose them.
Dennis Schroder had other ideas.
Schroder knocked down a couple of free throws with 13.2 seconds left to cut the Grizzlies’ lead to one, but all Memphis had to do was inbound the ball and make their free throws to get the win. Then this happened.
— NBA (@NBA) January 21, 2023
Schroder hit the and-1 free throw, which ended up mattering. The Grizzlies had the final shot, but Ja Morant missed a jumper, then Memphis was bailed out when Los Angeles big man Wenyen Gabriel fouled Brandon Clarke trying to secure the rebound and gave Memphis a chance to tie. Clarke hit the first free throw but missed the second and the Lakers came away with a 122-121 win.
“I seen Bane catch the ball, he had the back to me, and I just made a play,” Schroder said postgame. “Luckily, it worked out.”
Asked about that steal, Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins was clearly frustrated.
“Well, we’ve run that play a million times and we don’t assume a foul and our spacing was not great at the end and they trapped in the stole when we got to learn from it to get a whole lot better from it,” he said.
The loss ended the Grizzlies’ 11-game winning streak.
Russell Westbrook scored 29 off the bench to lead the Lakers. The Lakers also had one of their better defensive games of the season, holding Ja Morant to 9-of-29 shooting, while Dillon Brooks was 4-of-17.
“They out-competed us for 48 minutes, plain and simple,” Jenkins said.