Still, LeBron James was able to find something positive about the contest.
LeBron says it’s “been a lot clearer how we want to play basketball over the last few weeks.” Despite the poor performance tonight, he believes they’ve been playing good basketball.
— Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) January 10, 2022
The Lakers got 35 points from their MVP, but he got very little help from their other starters, as Memphis led by as many as 29 at one point.
The bench unit, led by rookie Austin Reaves, made a desperate comeback late in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late, as L.A. ultimately lost 127-119.
The Purple and Gold got outplayed in the key hustle categories, including rebounds, fast-break points and free throws.
The Lakers have now lost their season series with Memphis 3-1, meaning that if they tie Memphis in the standings to end the regular season, it would hold the tiebreaker over them.
Reaves played well in garbage time, scoring 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting, while Talen Horton-Tucker had another strong game with an efficient 13 points.