Grizzlies’ 3-Point Barrage Stuns Lakers, LeBron Frustrated

LeBron James didn't sugarcoat his increasingly sour feelings

Saturday, January 6th, 2024, LOS ANGELES

In a disappointing turn of events for the Los Angeles Lakers, they faced their 10th loss in 13 games on Friday night against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies secured a convincing 127-113 victory, highlighted by Marcus Smart’s remarkable 3-point shooting, sinking 8 of the team’s 23 shots from beyond the arc.

LeBron James, visibly frustrated, minced no words in expressing his dissatisfaction with the Lakers’ current form. Despite his own impressive 32-point performance, James bluntly stated, “We just suck right now.” Anthony Davis contributed 31 points, but the Lakers have struggled since their triumph in the NBA In-Season Tournament.

Coach Darvin Ham, however, displayed confidence in his job security, emphasizing the need to view the season as a marathon rather than a series of isolated games. Ham acknowledged the team’s recent challenges but urged against overreacting to each individual match. James, on the other hand, was less optimistic, downplaying the significance of the tournament victory and cautioning against reading too much into a small sample size.

The Lakers, now on a four-game losing streak, find themselves in a challenging stretch with 11 of their next 12 games played in Los Angeles. Austin Reaves’ notable performance with 19 points and a career-high 12 assists wasn’t enough to secure a win, as the team faces increasing scrutiny.

The Grizzlies, led by Jaren Jackson Jr. and Marcus Smart, capitalized on the Lakers’ defensive struggles, particularly in 3-point defense. Smart, who had been on a shooting slump, redeemed himself with eight successful 3-pointers. Desmond Bane and Ja Morant also made significant contributions to secure the Grizzlies’ second win in six games.

LeBron James acknowledged the Lakers’ missed opportunities and turnovers but pointed out that they still had their chances. The absence of key players, D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura, further compounded the Lakers’ challenges.

Despite the Lakers’ recent struggles, Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins stirred controversy during the game, receiving a technical foul for disputing a no-call. The incident added drama to an already intense matchup, with Jenkins later expressing regret for interrupting play.

As the Grizzlies celebrate a rare victory in Los Angeles, the Lakers face the daunting task of regaining momentum. With upcoming games against the Clippers and Phoenix, the Lakers must address their issues swiftly to avoid further setbacks. The pressure is on, and the basketball world is watching closely to see if the Lakers can turn the tide and emerge stronger from this challenging stretch.


  1. Why is LeBron James frustrated despite scoring 32 points?
  • LeBron James expressed frustration due to the Lakers’ overall poor performance and their ongoing struggles, despite his individual contributions.
  1. What contributed to the Grizzlies’ victory over the Lakers?
  • The Grizzlies capitalized on their 3-point shooting, with Marcus Smart hitting eight 3-pointers. Defensive lapses by the Lakers and notable contributions from Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane, and Ja Morant also played a significant role.
  1. Who were the key players for the Grizzlies in this game?
  • Jaren Jackson Jr. and Marcus Smart were instrumental for the Grizzlies, with Smart’s exceptional 3-point shooting turning the tide in their favor.
  1. How did the Lakers cope with the absence of D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura?
  • The Lakers faced challenges in the absence of regular starters D’Angelo Russell (bruised tailbone) and Rui Hachimura (strained left calf), further adding to their woes.


The Lakers find themselves in a challenging period, grappling with a four-game losing streak and increasing scrutiny. LeBron James’ frustration reflects the team’s overall struggles, raising questions about their championship contention. On the other hand, the Grizzlies celebrate a significant victory, fueled by stellar performances from key players. As the Lakers prepare to face the Clippers and Phoenix, their ability to regroup and address ongoing issues will determine their trajectory in the highly competitive NBA season. The basketball world waits to see if the Lakers can overcome adversity and reclaim their winning form.

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