The Los Angeles Lakers used a hot start in Game 3 to get the win and survive Ja Morant’s late-game onslaught. Tomorrow should be another action-packed contest.
Catch the game tomorrow, April 25th, at 10:00 AM, Manila time.
HOME: Los Angeles Lakers (2-1)
Projected starting five:
- D’Angelo Russell
- Austin Reaves
- Jarred Vanderbilt
- LeBron James
- Anthony Davis
Game 3 saw the Lakers rampaging in the first quarter. They jumped into a 35-9 lead to end the period, with LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and D’Angelo Russell scoring eight points each, and Rui Hachimura adding seven off the bench.
In trying to redeem himself from the abysmal Game 2, Davis showcased more assertiveness and finished with 31 points, 17 rebounds, two steals, and three blocks. It’s classic AD, though note that we’ve seen him regress in the following game after such a performance. James, meanwhile, wasn’t able to gain Dillon Brooks’s “respect” by dropping 40, but he had a very solid 25 points, nine boards, and five assists, and was one of the catalysts in that vital run in the opening frame.
Hachimura has continued to be a spark in the second unit. He’s pouring in 21.7 points per game in the series while shooting 66.7% from the field – currently 9-for-12 from three in the series. It’s in contrast to Russell, who’s at 13.7 PPG on a rough 33.3% clip – snapping out of his slump will be such a key.
The Lakers are averaging 110.7 PPG in the series.
AWAY: Memphis Grizzlies (1-2)
Projected starting five:
- Ja Morant
- Desmond Bane
- Dillon Brooks
- Xavier Tillman
- Jaren Jackson Jr.
Ja Morant played like a madman in the fourth quarter of Game 3. He had 22 points on 9-for-12 shooting in the period alone, including four three pointers and two and-1 plays that were successfully converted, all despite dealing with an injured hand. He just ran out of time.
Then again, that’s what happens when you start slow. Someone exploding for 22 of his 45 points in the fourth will be cancelled out if you allow yourself to trail by 27 in the first quarter.
The good thing now, though, is Morant’s momentum. With the way he weaved his way through the Laker defense down the stretch, the 23-year-old’s confidence is at a high, and he’ll stay aggressive with the urgency they’re facing. It also doesn’t appear that he’s significantly bothered by the recent injury.
Hopefully, he can continue to get help from his two main cohorts – Jaren Jackson Jr., who’s at 20.7 PPG in the series, and Desmond Bane, who’s adding 19.0 PPG. Brooks will remain as a pesky defender and agitator, but we’ll see if he can also improve his offense as he’s a combined 13-for-40 (32.3%) in the three games thus far.
The Grizzlies are averaging 105.3 PPG in the series.
Handicap: The Grizzlies (+4) tie it.
Over/Under: The total hits the over (220.5)