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The Lakers Couldn’t Get A Shot Off On Their Last Possession Down Three To The Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies moved to 22-14 on the season, 3.5 games up on Denver for the fourth spot in the Western Conference, on Wednesday night with an impressive comeback win at home over the Lakers.

Ja Morant led the way with his best performance since coming back from a knee sprain, scoring 41 points and pulling down 10 rebounds, including some massive buckets down the stretch as Memphis won the fourth quarter 26-16.

On the other side, LeBron James was once again forced to carry a massive load on offense with 37 points, 13 rebounds, and seven assists in the loss, including eight three-pointers, but as has been a constant issue this season, the rest of the Lakers simply couldn’t provide enough scoring, particularly down the stretch. James’ eighth three made it a three-point game, and after some empty possessions for both sides, the Lakers final full possession was a microcosm of their season-long offensive issues. Memphis forced the ball out of James’ hands immediately and then ran Malik Monk off the three-point line, leading to a scramble drill (after Monk failed to swing the ball to a wide open Russell Westbrook in the corner) that ended in a turnover from James on miscommunication with Westbrook.

The Lakers offense in the halfcourt can at crucial times grind to a halt, as they can’t seem to create good looks consistently with structured sets and offensive flow, instead hoping that their individual talent can create something out of nothing. Sometimes that works, but when the ball gets moved out of James’ hands and not directly into an assist opportunity, it can devolve quickly. That’s a problem nearly halfway into the season, even factoring the absence of Anthony Davis, and after blowing a 13-point lead in Memphis, the Lakers will once again have to answer questions about what went wrong.