Monday, March 27, 2023
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NBA Preview: Memphis Grizzlies (38-25) at Los Angeles Lakers (31-34)

The Memphis Grizzlies face the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, and one of their challenges is the absence of star Ja Morant.

As the team holds him out of action while the NBA investigates his behavior, Morant will miss a second consecutive game. In a social media video that he posted live early Saturday morning in the Denver area following the Grizzlies’ loss to the Nuggets on Friday night, Morant appeared to be holding a gun.

The Grizzlies were without Morant, Dillon Brooks (suspension for one game), Brandon Clarke (season-ending Achilles injury), Steven Adams (knee), and Dillon Brooks (suspension for one game). On Sunday, the Grizzlies put together a huge third quarter rally to move ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers, but they ran out of gas in the fourth quarter, losing 135-129 on the road. Clarke and Adams will also be absent from the Lakers game.

On Sunday, Memphis used a 51-point third quarter to turn an 11-point deficit into a 16-point lead, but when the Clippers made defensive adjustments in the fourth quarter, they lacked a finishing touch.

Tyus Jones of the Grizzlies scored 20 points in the third quarter alone, but he did not score in the fourth. Memphis was led by 30 points from Desmond Bane.

The Lakers have every reason to be hopeful going into the game on Tuesday.

In an effort to qualify for the postseason, Los Angeles has won five of its last seven games and is 4-2 since the All-Star break. The Lakers started NBA play on Monday in 11th place in the conference, just a few spots away from qualifying for the play-in tournament.

Despite losing star LeBron James to a tendon injury in his right foot for the past four games, the team has been able to hold its own recently. Additionally, D’Angelo Russell has been sidelined with an ankle injury for the last five games. Russell was listed as questionable for Tuesday, but James remains out.

In an effort to influence the team’s bid for the playoffs, Anthony Davis upped his game. Davis, who suffered his own lower leg injury and missed 20 games in December and January, has averaged 33.8 points and 11.8 rebounds in his last four games.

Davis scored 39 points on 14 of 25 (56 percent) shooting in Sunday’s 113-105 victory over the Golden State Warriors at home. Despite the injury to his right foot, he is listed as probable for Tuesday.

On February 28, the Lakers lost to Memphis 121-109, but Davis contributed by scoring 28 points and grabbing 19 rebounds. In that game, Morant had 39 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists for a triple-double.

Eagle Eye Sports Monitor

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