- The Lakers Dominate Grizzlies in Chippy Game 3, jumping to an 18-2 lead in the first quarter and never looking back.
- Dillon Brooks, who had previously made disrespectful comments about LeBron James, was ejected in the third quarter for making contact with James in a sensitive area.
- Ja Morant returned for the Grizzlies after a one-game absence due to a wrist injury and scored 45 points, but it was not enough to lift the team to victory.
- Anthony Davis had a strong bounce-back game for the Lakers, scoring 31 points and grabbing 17 rebounds.
- Rui Hachimura has been a key contributor for the Lakers in this series, providing an extra advantage against the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies need to make more shots and reduce their reliance on Dillon Brooks.
In Game 3 of their first-round series, the Lakers and Grizzlies engaged in a heated and chippy affair from the opening tip. Both teams played physically and engaged in trash talk, coming very close to crossing the line.
Although star player Ja Morant returned from a wrist injury for the Grizzlies, the Lakers took control early and never looked back, jumping out to an 18-2 lead and holding Memphis to just nine first-quarter points. The Lakers ultimately won 111-101, giving them a 2-1 series lead.
One of the key storylines of the game was the animosity between Lakers star LeBron James and Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks. Brooks had made disrespectful comments about LeBron in the media leading up to the game, and the Lakers faithful made their feelings known by booing him during pre-game warmups.
Brooks struggled in the game, missing eight of his first nine shots and finishing just 3-of-13 from the field before being ejected in the third quarter for making contact with LeBron in a sensitive area. His poor shooting and ejection set the tone for a disappointing night for the Grizzlies.
Meanwhile, Morant demonstrated why he is such a dynamic player, scoring 45 points, dishing out 13 assists, and grabbing nine rebounds. He made six 3-pointers despite playing with a bad wrist and single-handedly kept the Grizzlies in the game with a 22-point fourth quarter. However, it wasn’t enough to overcome the Lakers’ early lead and dominant play from Anthony Davis.
Davis had struggled in Game 2 when the Grizzlies were without Morant, scoring just 13 points and having little impact on the game. However, he bounced back in Game 3 with 31 points, 17 rebounds, and three blocks, reminding everyone of his star power and proving that he can dominate even without a proven opponent in front of him.
Overall, the Lakers’ victory was a statement win that gave them control of the series and showed that they can win even without LeBron James having a dominant game. It also highlighted the rise of Rui Hachimura, who has given the Lakers an extra advantage against Memphis. The Grizzlies will need to regroup and make more shots while avoiding chippy play to even the series in Game 4.