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Grizzlies show NBA they're not Ja-dependent, dominate Lakers in Game 2 to tie series 1-1

The Memphis Grizzlies pulled off an upset in Game 2 of the first round of the NBA playoffs, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers by a score of 102-93. What made the victory an underdog one was the Grizzlies being without star point guard Ja Morant, who was sidelined with a hand injury.

Xavier Tillman stepped up in Morant's absence, scoring a career-high 22 points and adding 13 rebounds. Jaren Jackson Jr., the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year, added another 18 points for Memphis. The Grizzlies led by as many as 20 points, and had fans delighted throughout the night, knowing a game 5 in Memphis is now guaranteed.

Despite nabbing one on the road in Game 1, Los Angeles will regret not taking advantage of Morant's absence to obtain what could have been a pivotal (and rare) 2-0 series lead as a 7th seed in the first round.

Hachimura stepped up again for the Lakers

Loss aside, the Lakers, led by LeBron James (28 points, 12 rebounds), can take solace in seeing Rui Hachimura continuing to grow in his role and adding 20 points. Meanwhile, Anthony Davis struggled greatly, going 4 of 14 from the field and finishing with 13 points and eight rebounds.

Ja Morant watched the game from the bench with a bandaged hand, but will look to make a return in Game 3 in LA on Saturday. The Grizz are hopeful their star will return to action.

The Lakers, winners of 11 of their last 13, had a four-game winning streak snapped. Now they head home to Crypto.com Arena for Game 3 on Saturday night.

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