LOS ANGELES — Coming off an encouraging win over the Brooklyn Nets, the Los Angeles Lakers stayed on the right track on Sunday night against the Memphis Grizzlies by hanging on for a 107-102 win.
It was a complete team effort offensively against the Grizzlies as six players reached double figures scoring while shooting 47.1 percent from the field and dishing out 25 assists.
The Lakers took control of the game early in the second quarter that saw them carry a 62-54 lead into the half behind 17 assists and 53 percent shooting from the field. Brandon Ingram led all scorers with 18 pts, including scoring the team’s last 14 points of the second quarter.
Los Angeles expanded on that margin pushing it to 22 points in the period behind a 16-4 run midway through the period. Memphis closed the gap in the fourth quarter but fought off the late burst that saw their huge lead dimish to just three points late in the game.
The Lakers saw rookie Kyle Kuzma in his second straight start notch his third career double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds while Brook Lopez led the way with 21 points, which marked his second straight game with at least 20 points and four made 3-pointers.
“I think it all starts with our defense each and every game,” Lopez said. “Our defense and our energy, we build off of that. Offensively, we did a great job of taking care of the ball in the majority of the game. We got a little sloppy towards the end, but I think it’s also special that we held it together in the end.”
It marked the Lakers’ third win in the last four games that has pushed them back to the .500 mark through the first 10 contests of the season.This also marked the first time this season that Los Angeles has strung together back-to-back wins. However, head coach Luke Walton has been most impressed by the effort in which the team has put forth on each night.
“We are happy where we are at right now,” Walton said. “The most impressive thing is the effort we’re getting on every single time we play the game Whether it was up in Portland in a tough environment or tonight. It’s the fact that every night we’re finding ways to compete and bring the energy level and defend. Ten games in, I wouldn’t have thought honestly that were ready to start doing that.”
There is certainly a different feel to the team this time in comparison to last season as Ingram believes that the team possesses a roster full of the right kind of character players to make a bigger push forward.
“This team we have a lot of guys with high character that come in the gym and try to get better,” Ingram said.
Los Angeles will have that will tested on Wednesday night against the red-hot Boston Celtics the team embarks on a 10-day trip with four games on the road.
Bob Garcia IV
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