In typical fashion, the first game of the first round between the LA Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies involved an Anthony Davis injury scare. As the second quarter neared its end, Davis looked to have hurt his arm while going for a rebound and requested to be subbed.
However, that didn’t stop the Lakers from showing how dominant they can be on their best day as they took home a 128-112 Game 1 victory in a hostile arena in Memphis. Davis, for his part, came back in the second half after the scare and had a dominant performance with 22 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, three steals and seven blocks.
LeBron James would not be outdone, as he also posted up an all-around statline of 21 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, two steals and three blocks – one of which was a patented chase down in the second quarter.
Davis and James’ defensive contributions were magnified because they had five times the number of blocks that the entire Grizzlies squad had for the game and the superstar duo were one steal shy of having the same amount of steals. That kind of disparity is never good in a playoff series.
D’Angelo Russell also had a decent game with 19 points and seven assists, but the talk of the town will be the huge contribution from two role-players in Rui Hachimura and Austin Reaves. Reaves was a killer in his playoff debut and had 23 points, three rebounds, four assists, a steal and a block while shooting 8 of 13 from the field.
Hachimura had a huge game off the bench with 29 points and six rebounds and barely missed as he shot 11 of 14 from the field including 5 of 6 from beyond the arc.
When things are going this way for the Lakers, it’s hard to see the Grizzlies beating them in a seven game series. They’re already missing a lot of size in Steven Adams and Brandon Clarke, and now they’ve got additional fears as Ja Morant hurt himself on a play in the fourth quarter of Game 1. Morant’s injury was caused by a bad fall after he drove hard to the basket and was met by Anthony Davis.
The Lakers and their fans will deservedly be riding high after taking a 1-0 lead away from home, and we’ll have to see how the Grizzlies adjust in the next game, especially is Morant isn’t at 100%.