Game 4 takes place Monday at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles and features the Lakers looking to take a comfortable 3-1 series lead against the second-seeded Grizzlies.
Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies remains questionable due to an injury in his right hand. After missing Game 2, he returned and played at his usual pace during Game 3. Initially, the entire team struggled but Morant made up ground by scoring 24 points in the fourth quarter for an impressive total of 45. Additionally, his hand appeared to be undamaged as he shot 13-of-26 from the field and 6-for-10 from three-point range – clearly an impressive showing for an undersized roster.
As of early Monday morning, Morant is no longer listed on Memphis’ injury report, indicating that he will again play with the injury.
After Stephen Brooks made comments towards LeBron James that could easily have backfired, and in response to their loss in Game 2, it became evident the Lakers would respond decisively with strong play from LeBron. Brooks’ arrogant behavior provided ample opportunity for James’ bulletin board material, providing ammunition against one of his greatest-ever players – was not a good idea.
As a result, the Lakers cruised to an easy win behind Anthony Davis and his dominant performance. Davis finished with 31 points and 17 rebounds including 15 in an essential third-quarter period – leading the team and scoring 15 of its 30 total points during it! Considering his success I anticipate him starting again for Game 4, though his impact may diminish somewhat in my estimation.
As expected, I predicted the Grizzlies would experience difficulties during Game 3, especially while trying to integrate Morant back into their lineup. Sure enough, they found themselves trailing 35-9 after one quarter.
But he looked even better during their fourth-quarter comeback attempt, although their effort ultimately fell short of success. I expect them to pick up where they left off.
Since Morant returned after missing two consecutive starts, his performance with the Grizzlies has improved; they’re 14-5 against the spread and 12-6-1 straight up. I expect them to do even better now that he’s had one game under his belt.
A divisive figure, Brooks has masterfully played his role as an antagonist.
Game 3 had many high points; I hope things settle down in Game 4, with Brooks making an impactful contribution to this critical matchup.
I expect the Memphis Grizzlies to rebound quickly after their subpar showing in Game 3, with Morant continuing his impressive play from Saturday’s fourth quarter as they look to avoid falling to a 3-1 deficit.
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