From the jaws of defeat, Dennis Schroder came up big as a menace.
Schroder’s marvelous steal over Desmond Bane and completing the and-one play on one end pulled the Los Angeles Lakers away from near defeat over the Memphis Grizzlies, 122-121, on a Friday night filled with intense drama from the sidelines of Crypto.com Arena.
Schroder dusted off Bane in his heroics, scoring the crucial foul basket play to hand the Lakers the late-game edge. The veteran guard went on to drain his bonus free-throw to allow his team to go up by two.
In the next possession, Brandon Clarke was fouled from a rebound battle against Wenyen Gabriel. The big man sank the first free throw but bricked the second one which could have tied the game.
Desmond Bane gained the offensive board but was called for an out-of-bounds violation with 0.4 seconds left in regulation as he attempted to shoot a tightly contested three from the wing against the contesting LeBron James.
“He’s one of our better perimeter defenders and better defenders overall,” coach Darvin Ham said of Schroder, per NBA.com’s Mark Medina. “He knows how to make big plays in big moments. He’s not afraid of the moment. He’s quick, has quick hands and is not afraid.”
The Grizzlies got a 114-107 lead entering the last three minutes of the game, but were walloped by a 15-7 shocker blitz by the Lakers in crunch time.
Russell Westbrook led Los Angeles with his strong 29 points and six assists off the bench. James got 23 markers and nine boards, while Schroder churned 19 points, eight boards, and eight assists on the gritty win.
“Hard-fought game,” Ham said. “It’s a hell of a ball club over there. Very well coached. One of those great nights and hell of a game. I just wish I could’ve watched it as a fan and not be sweating.”
Despite having 14 points in the third period to atone for his sluggish first half, Ja Morant was limited in the final frame, finishing with just 22 points. Memphis’ 11-game streak comes to an end in California via a disappointing loss as the West’s second-seeded team.