Lakers take 2-1 collection lead over Grizzlies due to massive evening from Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis had 31 factors and 17 rebounds, LeBron James completed with 25 factors after Dillon Brooks was ejected for putting him within the groin, and the Los Angeles Lakers survived Ja Morant’s 24-point fourth quarter to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 111-101 Saturday evening for a 2-1 lead of their first-round playoff collection.

Morant scored 45 factors in his return from a one-game absence with a sore proper hand, even scoring 22 consecutive factors throughout his beautiful fourth quarter whereas Memphis tried to rally from an early 29-point deficit. Morant additionally had 13 assists and 9 rebounds, however the second-seeded Grizzlies couldn’t come all the best way again after scoring a franchise-low 9 factors within the first quarter.

Rui Hachimura scored 16 factors in one other sturdy effort off the bench for the seventh-seeded Lakers, who got here out impressively of their first dwelling playoff sport with a capability crowd in 10 years. Los Angeles tied an NBA file by taking a 26-point lead into the second quarter, and Memphis could not get nearer than 13 factors till the ultimate two minutes.

Recreation 4 is Monday evening in Los Angeles.


LeBron James celebrates shot

LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts throughout the first quarter towards the Memphis Grizzlies in Recreation Three of the Western Convention First Spherical Playoffs at Area on April 22, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.  (Harry How/Getty Photographs)

Brooks was ejected 17 seconds into the second half after the Memphis agitator struck James within the groin whereas guarding him close to midcourt. Whereas the highest scorer in NBA historical past rolled on the court docket in ache, officers tossed Brooks after a quick video evaluate.

With the Lakers’ sellout crowd booing his each transfer, Brooks had simply seven factors on 3-for-13 taking pictures earlier than his ejection. He drew the Lakers followers’ ire for his conduct throughout and after Recreation 2, when the 27-year-old Brooks known as the 38-year-old James “outdated” and belittled James’ skills.

This rivalry stayed chippy within the third quarter, with Lakers ahead Hachimura getting a technical foul for a livid response to a foul.

Apart from the bodily play, the Lakers had been in charge of Recreation 3 till the Grizzlies made it mildly fascinating late, by no means getting nearer than 9 factors.

Morant wore a black brace and padding on his hand and appeared tentative with it at occasions, however Memphis’ main scorer began slowly earlier than rounding into his standard unguardable type within the fourth quarter.

Desmond Bane scored 18 factors for the Grizzlies.

Anthony Davis excited

Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after his dunk towards the Memphis Grizzlies throughout the first quarter in Recreation Three of the Western Convention First Spherical Playoffs at Area on April 22, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.  (Harry How/Getty Photographs)


A frenetic crowd confirmed up for the Lakers’ first playoff sport in 10 years with a full enviornment, and Brooks’ provocative conduct offered an ideal outlet for the followers’ power. The followers booed Brooks in pregame warmups and every time he touched the ball earlier than his ejection — however extra importantly, the Lakers performed with an identical edge from the opening tip.

Los Angeles rushed away to a double-digit lead and went up 35-9 after one quarter whereas the Grizzlies flailed offensively, going 3 for 25 with six turnovers. Brooks was significantly unhealthy, lacking 10 of his first 12 pictures and making little affect on protection.

The Lakers led by 29 within the second quarter earlier than Memphis lastly shook off its highway jitters and made a 10-0 run to shut the primary half, trimming its deficit to 16.

LeBron and AD in Game 3

Los Angeles Lakers ahead Anthony Davis, left, and ahead LeBron James stand on the court docket throughout the first half in Recreation 3 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff collection towards the Memphis Grizzlies Saturday, April 22, 2023, in Los Angeles.  (Alokito Mymensingh 24 Photograph/Mark J. Terrill)

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Grizzlies: Brooks is the one participant in franchise historical past to be ejected from a number of playoff video games. He has been ejected six occasions in his six-year profession, and he served two suspensions this season for an accumulation of technical fouls. … Memphis hadn’t performed a postseason sport in Los Angeles since 2013.

Lakers: D’Angelo Russell scored 17 factors. He had a four-point play within the first quarter, the Lakers’ first such play in a postseason sport since Kobe Bryant did it in 2009. … The 17-time NBA champions’ final playoff sport with a full crowd was in 2013. The Lakers missed the following six ensuing postseasons, and their 2020 championship run occurred within the Florida bubble. They hosted three first-round video games in 2021 with a half-full enviornment because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Peter Johnson