The Los Angeles Lakers kicked off their Western Conference playoff series with a decisive victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night. Rui Hachimura led the way for the Lakers with a career-best 29 points, including 21 in the second half, while LeBron James added 21 points and 11 rebounds.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the Lakers’ dominant performance and the key players who led them to victory.
Lakers Take Game 1 Against Grizzlies
The Lakers came into Sunday’s playoff opener as the seventh seed in the Western Conference, but they showed no signs of being intimidated by the No. 2 seed Grizzlies. Los Angeles seized control of the game early on, jumping out to a 34-22 lead after the first quarter.
The Grizzlies battled back in the second quarter, but the Lakers kept them at bay and went into halftime with a 62-56 lead. In the second half, the Lakers turned up the heat and pulled away, outscoring the Grizzlies 66-56 to seal the victory.
Hachimura Leads the Way for Lakers
Rui Hachimura was the star of the show for the Lakers on Sunday night, putting up a career-high 29 points on 13-of-19 shooting. The 6-foot-8 forward was dominant in the second half, scoring 21 points to help the Lakers pull away from the Grizzlies.
LeBron James also had a strong game for the Lakers, finishing with 21 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists. Anthony Davis added 22 points and 12 rebounds, while D’Angelo Russell bounced back from a rough play-in game to score 19 points.
Grizzlies Struggle to Keep Pace
Despite a valiant effort from Jaren Jackson Jr. and Desmond Bane, who scored 31 and 22 points, respectively, the Grizzlies simply couldn’t keep up with the Lakers on Sunday night. Ja Morant, who had 18 points before leaving the game with an injured right hand in the fourth quarter, was sorely missed down the stretch.
The Grizzlies will need to regroup quickly if they hope to turn things around in Game 2. They’ll have the home-court advantage, but they’ll need to find a way to slow down Hachimura and the Lakers’ high-powered offense.
Clippers Beat Suns in Series Opener
In the other Western Conference playoff opener on Sunday night, the Los Angeles Clippers took down the Phoenix Suns 115-110. Kawhi Leonard led the way for the Clippers with 38 points, including two clutch 3-pointers down the stretch.
Devin Booker had 26 points for the Suns, while Kevin Durant scored 27 in his first playoff game with the team. The Suns will look to bounce back in Game 2 on Tuesday night.
The Lakers and Clippers both got off to strong starts in their Western Conference playoff series on Sunday night. Rui Hachimura led the Lakers to a dominant victory over the Grizzlies, while Kawhi Leonard helped the Clippers hold off the Suns in a hard-fought battle.
It’s still early in the playoffs, but these two teams have set the tone for what promises to be an exciting postseason. Fans can look forward to more thrilling games and standout performances in the weeks to come.