Ja Morant recorded 27 points and matched his career high of 14 assists, and the Memphis Grizzlies snapped a five-game losing streak with a 105-88 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night.
Dillon Brooks scored 24 points, and Jonas Valanciunas added 22 points and 20 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who salvaged the final of four meetings against the Lakers this season. It was the second straight 20-rebound effort for Valanciunas.
Memphis holds the eighth and final postseason spot in the Western Conference by 2 1/2 games over the New Orleans Pelicans.
LeBron James had 19 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds for Los Angeles, which saw its seven-game winning streak come to an end. The 88 points are a season low for the Lakers, who lead the Western Conference by 5 1/2 games.
The setback was the Lakers’ first on the road against a Western Conference opponent outside of Los Angeles. The Lakers are now 18-2 in away games against teams from the West, with the other defeat coming against the Clippers at the Staples Center in the first contest of the season.
Anthony Davis had 15 points and nine rebounds, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 11 points and Kyle Kuzma had 10 for the Lakers, who shot 40.9 percent and made just 9 of 36 from behind the arc.
Los Angeles guard Danny Green (hip) missed the contest.
Memphis shot 45.3 percent from the field and was 10 of 31 from 3-point range.
The Lakers trailed by 22 points in the final minute of the third quarter before staging a furious 17-4 run.
Caldwell-Pope’s 3-pointer pulled Los Angeles within single digits at 90-81 with 6:56 remaining. Memphis regained some breathing room as Kyle Anderson made a jumper, Brooks canned a 3-pointer and Anderson got the bounce on another shot to make it a 16-point margin with 4:38 left.
Anderson’s layup increased the lead to 101-83 with 3:04 left, and the Lakers accepted their winning streak was ending by pulling James and Davis.
Memphis held a 12-point halftime lead, and the lead reached 20 when Tyus Jones hit a floater to make it 84-64 with 1:11 remaining in the third quarter. John Konchar’s basket with 53.3 seconds left pushed the lead to 22, before Memphis led 86-66 entering the fourth quarter.
Morant had 16 first-half points as the Grizzlies led 58-46 at the break.
—Field Level Media