Lakers fend off Grizzlies as LeBron, Davis shine

LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates his dunk against the Memphis Grizzlies at Staples Center on February 12, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Meg Oliphant/Getty Images/AFP

LeBron James and Anthony Davis combined for 63 points as the Los Angeles Lakers used a second half blitz to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 115-105 for their seventh straight win.

For the first time in four games, the defending league champion Lakers didn’t have to go into overtime, but they did need to rally from a 20-point first half deficit for the second game in a row.

“We got to figure that out,” said James. “We shouldn’t be down in the first quarter. We can’t do that against good teams and we got some good teams coming up. Being down 22-2 is not a good ingredient for championship team, but we found a way to get it done.”

Davis scored 35 points and James finished with 28 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for the Lakers, who looked tired early after playing three straight overtime games and were down 22-2 halfway through the first quarter against the Grizzlies.

The Lakers outscored Memphis 41-23 in the third quarter. In the fourth, they boosted the lead to double digits and cruised the rest of the way.

“We finally got some stops. Our defence wasn’t where it needed to be in the first quarter. We grinded it out made a little bit of a run at the end of the third,” said Lakers coach Frank Vogel.

James played 34 minutes, capping his scoring performance with an emphatic one-handed dunk on a pass from Marc Gasol with three minutes to go.

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