Lakers guard Dennis Schröder, left, controls the ball during the second half of the Lakers’ 122-121 comeback win over the Memphis Grizzlies at Crypto.com Arena on Friday. Schröder scored the winning basket off a steal in the final seconds. (Ashley Landis / Associated Press)
Dennis Schröder sneaked in from behind, slapped the ball loose and got the steal — maybe the biggest stop of the Lakers’ season.
The layup and the following free throw — those were maybe even bigger.
Short-handed and, well, just short against the towering Memphis Grizzlies, the Lakers absorbed every push from one of the best teams in the West.
But they never buckled. And as a possible tying free-throw from Brandon Clarke bounced off the rim, the Lakers did the improbable.
Somehow, on a night when LeBron James struggled and the Grizzlies seemingly grabbed every possible rebound, the Lakers left the floor as winners, beating Memphis 122-121 and ending its 11-game winning streak.
“A hell of a game,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said.
The win caps an eventful home stretch where the Lakers lost tight games to Dallas, Philadelphia and Sacramento while they played without Anthony Davis, Lonnie Walker IV and Austin Reaves.
The only other win came against Houston.
“We’ve shown what we can be and what we can do,” Ham said.
But Friday’s game encapsulated so much of Ham’s message during the last eight days — keep working, keep fighting and a breakthrough will come.
Russell Westbrook scored 29, James fought to get 23 and Schröder finished with 19, eight rebounds and eight assists.
Memphis got 22 points from Ja Morant but he needed 29 shots — the Lakers stopping him as he tried to make a tying shot with Westbrook defending.
“I know I’m a very good defender,” Westbrook said.
Lakers guard Russell Westbrook tries to pass in front of Memphis Grizzlies center Steven Adams, left, during the first half Friday. (Harry How / Getty Images)
The win comes as more good news could be on the way.
The Lakers can pretend to stay coy, trying to remove some of the pressure of a timeline and limit the possibility of disappointment should there be a setback.
Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/dennis-schroder-hero-lakers-end-060731203.html?src=rss
Author : LA Times
Publish date : 2023-01-21 06:07:31
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