LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Lakers snapped a three-game losing streak on Tuesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies in a 116-102 win.
Entering the contest, Los Angeles had dropped 15 out of their last 17 games. It was a balanced offensive effort from Los Angeles that finally shifted things in their direction. Here are a few takeaways from the game.
Since Luke Walton has taken over as the head coach, the Lakers have adopted the playing style on the offensive end fo the court of sharing the ball.
That was on full display on Tuesday night scoring 116 points on 51.2 percent shooting from the field along with 51.5 from beyond the arc. They finished with six players in double-figure scoring with all notching at least 14 points.
Los Angeles also recorded 34 assists on 42 made field goals, which was just two short of tying the season high. D’Angelo Russell and Luol Deng each contributing six assists in addition to Randle’s game high of 11.
“That’s the most complete game we’ve put together in a long time,” Walton said. “And against a really good defensive team, which hopefully reinforces the idea that when we play to make plays for each, we’re tough to guard. We have enough scorers and weapons that can get hot.”
In the first half, Los Angeles scored 57 points on 51.2 percent shooting from the field, including 57.9 percent from beyond the arc. Much of their success from 3-point range came from Nick Young and Russell each knocking down five 3-pointers being responsibility from all but one make.
The Lakers also shared the wealth dishing out 18 assists on 22 made field goals. In fact, each of the starters aside from Timofey Mozgov had two or more assists with Russell, Deng, and Julius Randle each recording four assists. This was two more assists than they had all in their last meeting against Memphis on Dec. 3.
“Tonight he didn’t any plays off,” Clarkson said. “He brought energy defensively and offensively the whole game. That’s what you have to do to be that triple-double kind of guy. He’s going to be great.”
In the Lakers’ balanced offensive effort, Randle was one of the main sources of production posting his third career triple-double with 19 points, 14 rebounds, and 11 assists.
It also his second triple-double this season, making him just the sixth player in the NBA to record multiple triple-doubles Russell Westbrook, James Harden, LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Draymond Green this year.
This was also the first triple-double against Memphis in an NBA-long streak of 177 games, which extended to 192 including the postseason. The last time that this feat occurred was on Dec. 13, 2014 against Michael Carter-Williams.
“I just took what the defense gave me,” Randle said. “I’m not trying to force anything. Getting my guys going and just making the right reads.”
Despite stuffing the stat sheet, Walton was quite with another aspect of Randle’s performance.
“I thought he was really, really good tonight and not because of the numbers,” Walton said. “Thing that I liked the most about his game tonight was he was alert the whole game. And he still made mistakes, but there was never on the court where he was just standing up. That’s huge progress and when he can get that type of alertness it’s going to make us a lot better.”
That’s huge progress and when he can get that type of alertness it’s going to make us a lot better.”
Defense Steps Up
Throughout the earlier portion of the season, the Lakers have struggled tremendously to find consistency on the defensive end of the floor.
That narrative changed a bit against the Grizzlies keeping them to 39 percent shooting from the field, including 32.3 percent from beyond the arc. These numbers worsened in the second half with 36.1 percent from the field and 25 percent from 3-point range with just 13 total made field goals in the final two quarters of play.
“We pretty much just locked in,” Young said. “We had a good shootaround, now we just have to stay in whatever groove we’re in and get this thing going again.”
The Lakers next challenge will be on the road on Thursday night against the Portland Trail Blazers, which is the first of back-to-back games.
Bob Garcia IV
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