Barrage of Threes Lifts Lakers Over Grizzlies

Maybe it was the new uniforms. Or the great looking In-Season Tournament court on display at Arena. But whatever it was, the Lakers broke out of their season-long shooting slump in a big way, scorching the nets and tying a franchise record with 22 made three-pointers (on just 35 attempts) to take down the Grizzlies 134-107 on Tuesday night. The game was the Lakers third consecutive win and pushes them over .500 to 6-5 on the season.

The Lakers not only tied a franchise record, but they became only the 2nd team in league history to connect on 22 or more three-pointers in a game while shooting at least 62% on those shots, joining the 2009 Orlando Magic who accomplished the feat in a January game against the Kings when they hit 23 of their 37 attempts from downtown. Seven Lakers hit at least a one long-ball in this one, the same number who scored in double-figures in a game that was a total team effort offensively.

And while several Lakers were flamethrowers from the outside, it was D’Angelo Russell’s six makes on eight attempts that paced the team on the evening. Russell was especially brilliant in the 3rd quarter, connecting on three of his four attempts from beyond the arc and four of his five shots overall to score 13 of his game-high 24 points, allowing the Lakers to thwart a 3rd the Grizzlies attempt to claw their way into striking distance after falling behind by 11 after the 1st quarter and 23 at halftime.

While Russell (among others) blitzed Memphis from the outside, Anthony Davis controlled the paint on both ends of the floor. Davis scored 19 points on 7-11 shooting, with all of his makes coming in the paint. Davis magnificently maneuvered around the basket, diving into open gaps and scoring around, over, and through Grizzlies defenders.

And then on the other side of the ball, Davis was again his dominant self defensively, ensuring that every Memphis player would feel his presence around the rim should they venture into the paint. The NBA’s blocked shots leader added six more to his ledger Tuesday night, swatting attempts from any and all comers, both in help situations and when his own man tried to test him.

Beyond Davis and Russell, in a slew of other fantastic performances, both Rui Hachimura and Austin Reaves stood out for both their efficiency and all-around floor games respectively. Rui shot a blistering 8-10 from the field (3-3 from distance, 4-4 from the foul line) to score 23 points in 24 minutes of game action. From pull up jumpers to fadeaways to monster dunks inside, Rui’s aggression and decisiveness allowed him to flouring vs. the Grizzlies defense.

As for Austin, he scored 16 points while connecting on all four of his shots from deep (and five of his nine attempts overall) while dishing out seven assists and grabbing a team-high 12 rebounds. Reaves again looked great running second unit offenses in a variety of different personnel groupings, showing ever more comfortable in adapting to his reserve role in the team’s last three games.

Ultimately, though, this was a wonderful team win in which everyone contributed in multiple ways, which also allowed both LeBron and AD rest for the entire 4th quarter for the first time all season. Rest that will come in handy as the Lakers are back in action Wednesday night when they host the Kings on the 2nd night of a back-to-back.

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