The daily preview muscles into the paint with NBA tips for a Western Conference duel between LA Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies.
14:00 (AEDT), Sat 13th Feb @ Staples Center, Los Angeles
History: Played 94: Lakers 59 V Grizzlies 35
Last meeting: January 5, 2021: Lakers 94 d Grizzlies 92 at FedEx Forum
Final Thoughts: The Lakers and Grizzlies line up for their third clash of the season already. Both previous meetings were in Memphis in the space of three days. LeBron James led the Lakers in points (22), rebounds (13) and assists (8) in a 108-94 victory first up.
Anthony Davis (27 pts, 10 reb, 4 ast, 3 stl) stuffed the stats sheet and James (26 pts, 12 reb, 7 ast) was again superb in a much harder-fought 94-92 win.
Crucially, the Grizzlies were without Ja Morant for both games. Returning from a layoff a couple of weeks later, the second-year guard is averaging 18.2 points and 7.7 assists a game for the 10-10 Grizzlies, though his shooting percentage has fallen off a cliff in recent games.
Grizzlies end slide, Lakers stuck in OT Groundhog Day
After putting together a remarkable seven-game winning streak – including the scalps of the Nets, 76ers, Suns and Spurs (twice), and punctuated by six COVID-postponed games – Memphis lost four straight. But they bounced back with a handy 130-114 defeat of the Hornets which included a franchise-record 23 three-pointers.
Kyle Anderson hit six of them (from eight attempts) among his team-high 27 points. Jonas Valanciunas pulled down 15 rebounds – two days after racking up a mighty 20 in a 15-point loss to Toronto.
The 20-6 Lakers have won their last six games – including the last three in overtime. The ageless LeBron – averaging 25.5 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.9 assists – is the catalyst. Anthony Davis has missed two games with an Achilles issue and is no certainty to line up here.
The Lakers’ support cast, especially Kyle Kuzma and Dennis Schroder, and key bench pieces Talen Horton-Tucker and Montrezl Harrell, deserve plenty of credit for the strong title defence to date. If anything, the Lakers look better than last season.
The Lakers are 8-4 at home; the Grizzlies are 6-3 away – despite losing their last two on the road. Meanwhile, the Lakers could be leg-weary after three OT games in five days. I’ll take the Grizzlies (11-9 ATS) with a big start.
OTHER NBA GAMES
|Washington Wizards V New York Knicks||Result – Wizards|
|Charlotte Hornets V Minnesota Timberwolves||Margin – Hornets 1-10|
|Atlanta Hawks V San Antonio Spurs||Result – Hawks @ $1.78|
|Dallas Mavericks V New Orleans Pelicans||Result – Mavericks @ $1.71|
|Chicago Bulls V LA Clippers||Handicap – Clippers -6.5 @ $1.90|
|Boston Celtics V Detroit Pistons||Margin – Celtics 11-20|
|Utah Jazz V Milwaukee Bucks||Handicap – Bucks +1.5 @ $1.90|
|Denver Nuggets V Oklahoma City Thunder||Margin – Nuggets 11-20|
|Portland Trail Blazers V Cleveland Cavaliers||Handicap – Trail Blazers -4.5 @ $1.90|
|Sacramento Kings V Orlando Magic||Result – Kings|