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NBA playoff preview and tips: Los Angeles Lakers at Memphis Grizzlies

LeBron James and his Los Angeles Lakers will hope for another dominant performance in game two against the Memphis Grizzlies.

It took some time this season, but LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have officially arrived. LA have won eight of their last 10, including their 128-112 game-one win over the Grizzlies. The teams meet again in a crucial game-two matchup.

LeBron and Anthony Davis chipped in 21 and 22 points respectively, but the Lakers shared the basketball well, and thus the scoring, with Austin Reaves (23), D'Angelo Russell (19) and Rui Hachimura (29) all contributing in a big way.
Memphis played some good basketball, but they just weren't able to keep pace with the Lakers who scored at will. They shot 53.3% on the night compared to Memphis' 47.20%.
Ja Morant had a quiet game by his standards with a stat line of 18 points, six rebounds and two assists. He and others were repeatedly shut down by the Lakers' defence who came up with 11 blocks.
Ja Morant's performance was likely hampered by an injury he picked up during game one. His status is questionable for game two, and it sounds likely he'll miss out.
Advantage Lakers? Not quite. The Grizzlies played a large portion of their season without Ja Morant. When he isn't injured, he's doing stupid things. This is an extremely deep and talented team.
Jaren Jackson came up with 31 points in game one and he should get better support this evening in light of the defeat. Desmond Bane is averaging 21.5 points this season, with Brooks, Kennard, Jones and Clarke all scoring double-digits.

We should see a much better defensive effort from the Grizzlies in game two. They held visiting teams to an average of 109.20 points during the regular season.

We also have to consider the most simple factor of all: Memphis will not have liked losing on the home court. They went 35-6 at home during the regular season and not once did they lose back-to-back.
Memphis responded to five of their six home losses by winning their next home game, covering the spreading comfortably in all of those victories.
The absence of Morant coupled with the Lakers' big win in game one has driven the line from Memphis -5 to Memphis -1, which you have to think is naive on their part. Back Memphis in game two.

Standout Trends

Grizzlies are 37-16 ATS in their last 53 following a straight-up loss of 10+ points.
Grizzlies are 5-1ATS in their next home game after a home loss.
Lakers are 5-16ATS in their last 21 playoff games as an underdog.
Lakers are 0-7 ATS in their last 7 after scoring more than 125+ in their previous game.

Suggested Bets

Memphis Grizzlies -1

READ MORE: NBA playoff preview and tips: Miami Heat at Milwaukee Bucks

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