MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Something had to give Monday night with two teams struggling to the finish off the long NBA season.
We all know of the Memphis Grizzlies’ troubles with rookie sensation Jeran Jackson, Jr. out indefinitely with a thigh bruise.
Other key players injured, as well as an almost totally new lineup after the trade deadline.
Not too many folks were sure the Los Angeles Lakers would be in the predicament they are right now even with LeBron James.
The King and his court came to FedExForum in purple, losers of four of their last five and three games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.
The Grizzlies, who are lottery bound, are trying to cobble enough wins to get rid of their Boston draft night obligation.
They’d get another as the Grizz would go on to win 110-105, delivering a punishing blow to the Lakers’ playoff hopes.
Jonas Valanciunas had another big game, putting up 20 points and 13 rebounds. He’s got three double-doubles in four games since coming over at the trade deadline.
The Lakers would keep it close behind 30 points for Brandon Ingram.
There was also LeBron James, who put up a casual triple-double with 24 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists.
Of course there was Mike Conley to answer, with 30 points of his own.
James and Lakers coach Luke Walton had high praise for The Conductor after the game.
Joakim Noah, celebrating his 34th birthday, provided a nice spark for the Grizz with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
“A lot of guys stepped up," Noah said. “Credit goes to Mike, who really picked it up at the end (and) help us keep our composure. I’m just so happy we won on my birthday.”
The Grizzlies, now 24-38, stay home for their next game against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night at FedExForum.