Lakers fall to Grizzlies in Game 2, evens series 1-1
The Lakers fell flat in Game 2 and lost to the Grizzlies 103-93. This game was crucial in the series as Memphis ruled out Ja Morant prior to the game due to the right-hand injury he suffered in Game 1.
The Grizzlies were led by Xavier Tillman, who finished the game with 22 points and 13 rebounds. The entire Memphis starting unit was in double digits, and they held the lead from the beginning to the end of this game.
Rui's the first Laker with back-to-back 20-point playoff games off the bench since Magic Johnson (1996). pic.twitter.com/VSkIWr5tlG— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) April 20, 2023
Rui Hachimura was once again very effective off the bench contributing 20 points. Hachimura became the 1st Laker with back-to-back 20-point games off the bench during the playoffs since Magic Johnson in 1996.
The Lakers were not shooting well from the field for most of the game, contributing to falling behind. Austin Reaves made some great plays, but he was not as big of a factor in Game 2 as he was in Game 1. D’Angelo Russell has been off and on for LA for the past few games and had an off day for Game 2. He finished with just 5 points.
“AUSTIN REAVES THAT’S SAUCY” pic.twitter.com/GGFe92LS2O— Lakers Lead (@LakersLead) April 19, 2023
The Grizzlies came into this contest with a game plan for guarding Anthony Davis. He shot just 4-14 from the field, which will not help the Lakers pull out a victory. As a team, they also had six blocks and forced 13 Lakers turnovers.
During the postgame interviews, Darvin Ham said, "I think we came out a bit lethargic in that 1st quarter."
Anthony Davis also expressed his desire that he wishes Game 3 was tomorrow. He said, "Looking forward to it, wish we could play tomorrow. ... I'll be ready for Game 3 for sure."
This is such a winnable game. Lakers are beating themselves with their lack of effort and energy right now.— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) April 20, 2023
Lakers legend Magic Johnson expressed his frustration with the team on Twitter, saying, “The Lakers have no one to blame but themselves. They didn’t come ready to play, that’s why they lost 101-93 to an undermanned Memphis team.”
There should have been no excuse for the LA to come out with little to no urgency. If anything, they should have come out greedy to steal both road games and head to Los Angeles with a 2-0 series lead.
AD was terrible offensively. DLo was bad on both ends. No one but Rui and LeBron showed up on offense. If the Lakers played as hard as they did in the second half in the first they'd have had a chance anyway but alas, can't fake desperation. On to Game 3.— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) April 20, 2023
With Game 3 on the horizon for this series, the big question is: Will Ja Morant play? He was listed as a game-time decision prior to the game, and with Game 3 being on Saturday, he has three extra days to recover.
Now the Lakers head to Los Angeles in a 1-1 series tie with Memphis. They cannot play this way if they want to move on to the Conference Semifinals.
LeBron and Hachimura combined for over half of the points. This is not a winning formula, and the Lakers need to change things up as the series heads back home.