NBA

Lakers end Grizzlies' run as coach Ham hails 'one of those great, great nights'

By Sports Desk January 21, 2023

Los Angeles Lakers coach Darvin Ham hailed "one of those great, great nights" as his team halted the Memphis Grizzlies' 11-game winning streak.

The Lakers pulled off a 122-121 victory, with a crucial late steal by Dennis Schroder pivotal to the outcome. Schroder managed a decisive lay-up and three free throws in the closing 14 seconds at Crypto.Com Arena

"He knows how to make big plays in big moments. He's not afraid," Ham said of Schroder.

LeBron James had 23 points, nine rebounds and six assists, not finding his scoring best but playing a part all the same as others raised their level.

The Lakers are now 21-25 for the season, with reports saying Anthony Davis should be back from injury next week.

Looking at the key to getting the big win on Friday night in Los Angeles, Ham said: "I just think our resolve. Our guys showed a lot of character, a lot of fight.

"It was disappointing to give up so many defensive rebounds and second-chance points, and fouls. But once we kept our togetherness, we never got too down.

"Guys were chirping, talking, communicating, constantly encouraging one another to be better on the defensive glass.

"But the biggest thing, we had 10 turnovers for seven points but for the most part we took care of the ball, we got good shots, we stayed in attack mode playing downhill, and we were able to get to the free-throw line ourselves and were plus-seven from the free-throw line in terms of makes. It helped us, and we were able to knock down some threes.

"It was a hard-fought game. It's a hell of a ball club over there, they're very well coached. It was just one of those great, great nights and a hell of a game.

"I wish I could have watched that as a fan, and not sweating underneath my half-zip. Our guys stayed competing, stayed aggressive, and I think that was the recipe."

James spoke after the game about a half-time altercation involving several Grizzlies players and Fox Sports host Shannon Sharpe, a former star NFL tight end.

"I run with Shannon 365 days, 366 in a leap year, 24/7. That's my guy," James said. "I'll always have his back, and he's got mine. He can talk with the best of them, that's for sure."

Russell Westbrook led scorers for the Lakers with a 29-point game, with Memphis reined in after leading by 13 late in the third quarter.

Schroder, who had 19 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, dedicated the win to Anton Walkes, the English footballer for Charlotte FC who died on Friday.

Schroder said the Lakers found a way to win without having to rely on a dominant James.

Speaking to ESPN, Schroder said: "It's a team game. Everybody's got to just chip in, do their job.

"LeBron, Russ, AD [Davis] when he comes back, they're the head ot the snake, but everyone's just got to chip in and that's what we did tonight."

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