The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Grizzlies 111-101 to take a 2-1 lead as Dillon Brooks was taken out for hitting LeBron James below the belt in Game 3 — just days after the Memphis star called his rival “outdated.”
Anthony Davis had 31 points and 17 rebounds, LeBron James finished with 25 after Dillon Brooks was sacked for hitting him in the groin, and the Lakers survived Ja Morant’s 24 fourth-quarter points to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 111-101 Saturday night vs. Lead 2-1 in the first-round playoff series.
Morant scored 45 points in his comeback from a one-game absence with a sore right hand, and even scored 22 consecutive points during a stunning fourth quarter as Memphis tried to recover from an early 29-point deficit.
But the Lakers held on after jumping out to a 35-9 lead at the end of the first quarter and mostly cruised to win Game 3.
After a contentious week between James and Brooks, when the latter stared at James after hitting him with a three-pointer late in Game Two and called him “old” afterwards, there was more drama on Saturday.
Brooks was ejected 17 seconds into the second period after a Memphis agitator hit James in the groin while guarding him near the middle of the field.
Dillon Brooks was ejected after making contact with LeBron James’ groin in Game 3
Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis dunks during the first half of Game 3 on Saturday
Brooks spent the week antagonizing James, but now it’s the Lakers star who’s laughing
While the all-time leading scorer rolled onto the court in agony, the officials dumped Brooks after a short video review, finding him guilty of two glaring fouls.
With the Lakers booing every move, Brooks had only seven points on 3-for-13 shooting before being ejected.
Brooks was jeered during Saturday’s warm-ups by the Los Angeles crowd, with Fans cheer when he misses the shotsHowever, James refused to involve himself in the drama before the match.
“I don’t want to talk about it this morning,” Lakers No. 6 said Friday.
Tomorrow’s game will be great. I’m not here for the bulls***. I’m ready to play and that’s it.”
Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant scored 45 points, but it wasn’t enough for Memphis to win
Those comments took a different tone from Brooks’ hostile nature after Memphis’ big game two win.
‘he sold. Brooks said on Wednesday…
I don’t respect anyone ‘until they come and give me 40’.
In front of their first full playoff crowd in 10 years, Los Angeles tied an NBA record by taking a 26-point lead in the second quarter, and Memphis couldn’t get closer than 13 until the final two minutes.
Rui Hachimura scored 16 points in another strong effort off the bench for the seventh-ranked Lakers, while Desmond Bean added 18 points for the Grizzlies.
Game four will be in Los Angeles on Monday.