NBA playoffs: Grizzlies grind out Game 2 win over Lakers without Ja Morant

Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks (24) goes sup for a dunk against Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) during the first half of Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Wednesday, April 19, 2023, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
The Grizzlies are still alive. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

It wasn't pretty, but the Memphis Grizzlies didn't have many other options without Ja Morant.

The Grizzlies pulled out a 103-93 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday to even their first-round series at 1-1. Game 3 is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT on Saturday in Los Angeles.

Memphis entered the game with an undeniable headwind after ruling out Morant, who exited Game 1 late after landing hard on his right hand. Tyus Jones started in the All-Star's place and finished with 10 points, eight assists and six rebounds.

With decreased firepower, the Grizzlies fell back on their identity and did everything they could to make the Lakers miserable on offense. After scoring 128 points in Game 1, the Lakers struggled to find consistent holes in the Memphis defense and got little at the perimeter, shooting 7-of-26 from 3-point range.

The worst night belonged to Anthony Davis, who finished with 13 points on 4-of-14 shooting after taking a hard elbow to the face.

The Grizzlies spent large portions of the games up by double-digits, but things got tense late in the fourth quarter, when the Lakers cut the lead to 6 points with around four minutes left. The Grizzlies responded with one last run, punctuated by a Dillon Brooks 3-pointer.

Xavier Tillman, who has only been starting with center Steven Adams sidelined, led the Grizzlies with 22 points on 10-of-13 shooting with 13 rebounds, but the more noticeable player was Brooks, who decided he wanted a personal feud with LeBron James as well as the entirety of the Golden State Warriors. The two players exchanged chirps and staredowns down the stretch.

James led all scorers with 28 points, while Brooks had 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting.