Grizzlies open 2-game set with loss as James leads Lakers

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“We were doing a lot of jostling with Memphis,” LeBron James said after the Lakers turned backed the Grizzlies 108-94 at FedExForum on Sunday.

“At the start of the fourth, I wanted to try and implement myself and my scoring a little bit more. Get a bit more in attack mode and see if I could kind of open the game up and we were able to do that.”

James’ takeover helped Los Angeles pull away for its third straight victory. He finished with 22 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists. Anthony Davis added 17 points and nine rebounds as the Lakers opened a two-game set in Memphis.

Kyle Anderson led the Grizzlies with 18 points, and Jonas Valanciunas had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Tyus Jones also had 14 points, and rookie Desmond Bane had 13.

Due to local COVID-19 restrictions, the game was played with no general tickets sold. However, about 75 “guests” were allowed in floor seats. Additionally, family members and some friends were seated in the lower bowl of FedExForum.

Lakers center Marc Gasol played in Memphis for the first time since he was traded to Toronto at the 2019 trade deadline. Gasol played 10-plus seasons with the Grizzlies. The Raptors did not travel to Memphis after COVID-19 stalled last season. The Grizzlies had a video tribute to Gasol during a first-quarter timeout.

“You always have in the back of your mind – when am I going to play Memphis again,” Gasol said of the post-trade situation. “In your mind the stands are full. …It makes it a little less special because with people it would have made this journey here to Memphis unique and special to me.”

James added: “I hope when we get our fans back, that Marc can get another (video). …I truly hope that they re-show that video again.”