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NBA: Memphis Grizzlies lose to in-form LA Lakers in second game without Ja Morant

By BBC
Basketball The Lakers have won five games and lost two since the All-Star break
WED, 08 MAR 2023 LISTEN
The Lakers have won five games and lost two since the All-Star break

The Memphis Grizzlies lost a second consecutive game without Ja Morant, falling 112-103 to the LA Lakers, who continue their late surge for a play-off place.

Morant is being investigated after a video emerged appearing to show him holding a gun in a Colorado nightclub.

Team-mate Dillon Brooks offered his support, saying "Whatever help he needs we're here for him" following the loss.

"Just be around family and come back stronger," Brooks said.

"I just told him that whatever you need from me, as a brother, as a team-mate, as a friend, as family, you can hit me up whenever you want, but I haven't spoken to him since.

"And just keep being himself," Brooks added. "Don't lose yourself in all this media antics and all this stuff."

All-Star guard Morant has apologised following a live broadcast on his Instagram page on Saturday and has been suspended for "at least two matches", while both Police and the NBA are investigating.

Anthony Davis scored 30 points and a season-high 22 rebounds in the Lakers' victory, with LeBron James still sidelined with a foot injury.

Elsewhere, Eastern Conference leaders the Milwaukee Bucks, who were without Giannis Antetokounmpo through illness, beat Orlando Magic 134-123 to extend their winning run on the road to nine games.

Kyrie Irving scored 33 points to help the Dallas Mavericks overcome the Utah Jazz 120-116 with Luka Doncic adding 29 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, while the Brooklyn Nets won a third consecutive match, beating the Houston Rockets 118-96.

  • Lakers pay tribute to former player Gasol

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Gasol is a four-time NBA All-Star and played for the LA team from 2008 to 2014

Former Lakers star Pau Gasol was honoured at half-time of their match against the Grizzlies as his famous number 16 shirt was retired.

The Spaniard joined the Lakers in 2008 and went on to win two NBA Championships playing alongside fellow Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash in 2020.

Gasol thanked the fans for their love and support and said Bryant was the "brother who elevated me, inspired me and challenged me" as he paid tribute to his former team-mate.

"I've done as well as I could to really embrace it and savour it. But tonight, it really exceeds any dream or expectation that I've had. Because it means so much," he said.

"Obviously with Kobe [Bryant] up there, it just adds something meaningful and powerful and sad and happy and painful and joyful. It's a lot of things."

Gasol's shirt joins other Lakers legends like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bryant, Magic Johnson and Shaquille O'Neal in having their shirts retired.

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