The Los Angeles Lakers were able to win Game 3 against the Memphis Grizzlies, 111-101. It started in the first quarter when the Grizzlies had a historically horrible performance, allowing the Lakers to take a massive lead.
The Grizzlies only had 9 points in the first quarter, the lowest single-quarter scoring of any team all season long. After talking a bunch of trash to LeBron James pre-game, Dillion Brooks was ejected in the second half after hitting Lebron James in the midsection. Up until that point in the game, he was having a horrible performance where he decided to chuck up and miss most of his attempted threes (1-of-5). Addtionally, James was making his trash talk look stupid with his play.
NBA Twitter was clowning the Grizzlies in a game that reminded everyone of the Suns-Mavs Game 7 last season. The Grizzlies picked it up a little bit in the second quarter and were able to cut the Lakers lead to16 points at halftime. Memphis didn’t close down on the lead in the third but it seemed like a better performance from the group until midway through the frame when the Lakers started to really run away.
Why the Lakers won: LeBron James
In a game where he sized up Brooks pregame, the King commanded the Lakers to the win with a 25-point performance where he shot 50 percent from the floor. He ended up with 9 assists as well. From the start of the game, he really took command.
Yes, James didn’t have an epic performance for his standards and Ja was injured but Dillion Brooks was talking an insane amount of trash to James during the series. It certainly seemed to have gotten to James during his practice interview with reporters, but he downplayed the storyline after the game.
With the type of aggressiveness he played in the first quarter, it seemed like James really wanted to shut up Brooks early. While Brooks did play his way out of the game on the offensive end, James took care of him on the defensive end.
Why the Lakers won: Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis played horribly in Game 2 of the series which was part of the reason that the Lakers lost in a game where Memphis was without Ja Morant. Davis shot 28 percent in game two and was able to upgrade to a way better shooting percentage in Game 3. He ended up with 31 points on 45 percent shooting. Additionally, he had 17 rebounds.
Davis played a lot better on the defensive end as well. In game two, he allowed Xavier Tillman to have 22 points. In this one, he had a measly 6 points. Tillman is a solid role player in this league but he is just that… a solid role player. Anthony Davis, who is one of the best defensive big men in the league shouldn’t be allowing Tillman to out-playing him. In game three, he proved that.
Why the Lakers won: Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura
Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura both deserve their praise for their role-playing efforts in Game 3. Both of them have played well in this series so far and it continued in Game 3. Reaves made 13 points on 50 percent shooting on his way to continue his campaign for a massive bag this summer.
Hachimura as well was able to have a good game as he made 16 points on 60 percent shooting from the floor. Hachimura is turning into an offensive weapon in these playoffs and making himself a massive paycheck this summer.
Memphis was able to come back in the closing minutes of the game but the Lakers were able to make up for their game two loss. Ja Morant struggled in the first half playing through his injury but he rebounded in the second half.
Morant went off for Memphis in the fourth quarter but cramped up in the closing seconds. It’s unclear if he is able to play in game four (fully healthy) but if he is able to reach the heights he was during the second half of this game, this series is far from over despite the comical first quarter that occurred from the Grizzlies.
Still at this point with the way the series has gone so far, it seems like this is the Lakers to lose. If LA is able to win game four, they will be able to go up 3-1 and be a win away from going on to the second round.