The Los Angeles Lakers can take a deep breath and smile after recording a 128-112 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies in the opening game of their best-of-7 series. Point guard D’Angelo Russell has confidence that the Lakers have tapped into something special and may be ready for a long run in the postseason.
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) April 16, 2023
“The sky is the limit for this team,” Russell said, following the road victory. “Everybody played their part and we got it done, simple as that. Everyone is capable on this team, and that’s what makes us scary.”
Russell may have been feeling bold since he was in the afterglow of his team’s triumph, but he appears to have a point. While LeBron James and Anthony Davis are the team’s veteran superstars, the Lakers received tremendous production from Rui Hachimura, Austin Reaves and Russell.
Hachimura came off the bench to score 29 points on 11 of 14 shooting from the field. He also added 6 rebounds. Reaves scored 23 points, and that included 9 straight points during the decisive 4th quarter. D’Angelo Russell scored 19 points and handed out 7 assists.
The Lakers have taken home court advantage away from the Grizzlies, who had the league’s best home record at 35-6 during the regular season. If the Lakers can take Game 2 on the road at the FedEx Forum Tuesday night, they will have a huge advantage when they return to Los Angeles for Game 3.
Memphis superstar Ja Morant went down with a hand injury during the 4th quarter. He charged into Anthony Davis of the Lakers as he drove to the rim, but he fell hard on his right hand. That hand had previously been injured during the final week of the regular season
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