‘We just suck right now’: LeBron James reacts to Lakers’ loss to Grizzlies

The Grizzlies started the match as the worst-shooting team in the league

By Web Desk
January 06, 2024
James scored 32 points. - AFP 

The Los Angeles Lakers suffered their fourth straight NBA defeat on Friday after losing to the Memphis Grizzlies 127-113.

Marcus Smart bagged a season-high eight three-pointers as he accumulated 29 points and Jaren Jackson Jr. connected on five from beyond the arc as he notched up 31.

The Grizzlies, who started the match as the worst-shooting team in the league, registered only their second victory in six matches.

“We just suck right now,” LeBron James said after losing the match.

Desmond Bane scored 24 points and handed out 13 assists, Ja Morant scored 21 and Ziaire Williams added 10 of his 15 in the fourth quarter, when the Grizzlies out-scored the Lakers 33-19 to pull away.

James scored 32 points and Anthony Davis added 31, but the Lakers suffered their 10th defeat in 13 games, unable to take advantage of 19 Grizzlies turnovers.

James started strong, making four of four three-point attempts in the first quarter on the way to 14 points. But he and the rest of the Lakers couldn´t match the Grizzlies´ energy in the second half.

Lakers coach Darvin Ham, who found himself fielding questions about his job security before the contest, said there was nothing for the Lakers to do but fight through it.

"It´s a disappointing loss, but we can´t get discouraged," he said. "I´m disappointed that we´ve lost multiple games now in a row, but it´s only going to make that fire bigger in my chest to try to figure this thing out.

"That was my message to the team after the game," Ham added. "We´ve got to fight. We´re going to figure this thing out."

Elsewhere, conference leaders Boston and Minnesota notched bounce-back victories while in Denver, Paolo Banchero recorded his first career triple-double and drilled the game-winning free-throws in the waning seconds of the Orlando Magic´s 122-120 victory over the reigning champion Nuggets.

Banchero made four free throws in the last 34.6 seconds to seal the Magic´s comeback from an 18-point third-quarter deficit, finishing with 32 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists.

Jamal Murray missed a chance to tie it at the buzzer for the Nuggets, who were coming off their own last-gasp, come-from-behind win over Golden State on Thursday courtesy of Nikola Jokic´s buzzer-beating three-pointer.

Jokic led Denver with 29 points. Michael Porter Jr. added 22, but the Nuggets looked weary on the second night of a back-to-back.

The Warriors, meanwhile, rebounded from their loss to Denver with a 113-109 victory over the lowly Detroit Pistons.

Stephen Curry scored 14 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter to help Golden State avoid another gut-wrenching defeat.

The Pistons, seeking just their fourth win this season, had kept it close and took a 103-102 lead on Bojan Bogdanovic´s three-pointer with 1:41 to play.

Curry answered with a pair of free throws and two three-pointers and the Warriors held on for the win.

— Additional input from AFP