Saturday, December 8, 2018

James and Lakers Blow Out Grizzlies, 111-88

Posted By on Sat, Dec 8, 2018 at 11:13 PM

The piercing, pubescent squeals that were prevalent during the Kobe Bryant days weren’t there Saturday night, but the horde of Memphis area Laker fans still got what they came to see, as the LeBron James-led version of the Lakers dominated the not-so-home team 111-88. After struggling to find their rhythm early in the season, LeBron’s Lakers have since found their stride and unfortunately the Grizzlies were caught up in the middle of them flexing their new-found muscle.

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Down by as many as 29 points, the Grizzlies, who were playing on the second night of a back-to-back, and their third game in four nights, had no answer for what looked like LeBron and company playing NBA 2k on rookie difficulty. Everything fell early for the Lakers, and what didn’t fall found a way to end up back in someone wearing purple's hands. The Lakers ran away with the rebound total 57-36, as Tyson Chandler and Javale McGee combined for 24.

Adding to the deflation of the evening and the stench of freshly purchased Lakers jerseys was the barrage of three-pointers made by the visitors — namely from Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who had four each. James also almost messed around and got a triple-double with 20 points, eight rebounds, and nine assists. On a positive note for the Grizzlies, Wayne Selden had a productive game, scoring 17 points in his nearly 21 minutes after returning from an injury that had sidelined him the past few games.

Selden downplayed his individual performance and spoke about the team's lack of effort, instead: “The stuff we didn’t do tonight is stuff we’re capable of,” said Selden. “Boxing out, getting to shooters, and stuff like that; we just didn’t do it tonight like we should have been.”

Every team has games during the season where they flat-out lay an egg, and this game in front of a pro-Lakers crowd was amongst the most rotten eggs possible. There is always a feeling of resentment when the opposing team’s fans come in droves, and the Grizzlies' performance didn’t offer much in the way of defense for the home team. The line at the Wing Guru inside FedExForum seemed even longer than usual, with fans that tapped out on the game, figuring an order of Honey Suicide wings would be better than the slow death they were seeing on the court.

But like all things, the game finally came to an end. In typical and expected fashion, the LeBron/Laker fans left in bunches — prematurely — as their king made his final exit from the court with about three minutes to go. James missed his last game in Memphis, due to rest, but in this one his devoted following was given plenty to be as obnoxiously giddy about as possible.

Okay, Grizzlies, you guys took the night off on this one, but enough of this. You have a bounce-back season to finish. Here’s to more effort, fewer tired legs, more rebounds and fewer reasons to give fans who come to see the road team something to cheer about.

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