Lakers edge Grizzlies on Dennis Schröder’s clutch play

Lakers guard Dennis Schroder (17) celebrates with center Thomas Bryant (31), forward Juan Toscano-Anderson (95) and guard Russell Westbrook after coming up with a steal and a three-point play in the final seconds to give them a 122-121 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Lakers forward LeBron James keeps the ball from Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant shoots as Lakers forward Wenyen Gabriel defends during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Lakers guard Russell Westbrook celebrates after making a 3-pointer during the first half of their game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

The Lakers’ Troy Brown Jr. attempts a shot in front of the Memphis Grizzzlies’ Brandon Clarke during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Lakers forward LeBron James, left, and injured Lakers big man Anthony Davis sit on the bench during the first half of their game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. There is reason to believe Davis could return to the lineup before the month is over, but the team does not want to commit to a timeline as he works his way back from a foot injury. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Memphis Grizzlies center Steven Adams dunks during the first half of their game against the Lakers on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Lakers forward Wenyen Gabriel reaches for a rebound in front of the Memphis Grizzlies’ Steven Adams, left, and Santi Aldama and Lakers guard Russell Westbrook during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Lakers forward LeBron James gets to the basket for a layup during the first half of their game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Lakers guard Max Christie defends against Memphis Grizzlies guard Tyus Jones during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Lakers guard Russell Westbrook looks to pass as the Memphis Grizzlies’ Steven Adams, left, and Santi Aldama, right, defend during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Recording artist Usher, center left, motions to Lakers guard Patrick Beverley when the ball went out of bounds during the first half of the Lakers’ game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Lakers forward LeBron James drives past the Memphis Grizzlies’ Dillon Brooks on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Lakers forward LeBron James shoots as Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks defends during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Lakers forward LeBron James, right, blocks a shot by Memphis Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Lakers guard Dennis Schroder shoots during the second half of their game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Lakers coach Darvin Ham watches from the sidelines during the first half of their game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks runs into Lakers forward LeBron James before being called for an offensive foul during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Lakers guard Patrick Beverley reacts to a foul from the Memphis Grizzlies’ Ziaire Williams during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Memphis Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane shoots as Lakers forward Wenyen Gabriel defends during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Lakers guard Dennis Schroder looks to drive to the basket as the Memphis Grizzlies’ Dillon Brooks defends during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Memphis Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins watches from the sidelines during the first half of their game against the Lakers on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Lakers center Thomas Bryant attempts to save a ball from going out of bounds during the first half of their game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Lakers guard Russell Westbrook dribbles as teammate Juan Toscano-Anderson, right, tries to set a screen on the Memphis Grizzlies’ Dillon Brooks on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Lakers forward LeBron James shoots in front of Memphis Grizzlies forward Ziaire Williams (8) during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Lakers guard Patrick Beverley drives to the basket between the Memphis Grizzlies’ Ziaire Williams, top, and Dillon Brooks, left, during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Lakers forward LeBron James scores on a layup past the Memphis Grizzlies’ Jaren Jackson Jr. during the first half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Former NFL tight end Shannon Sharpe is restrained by stadium security after a verbal altercation with some of the Memphis Grizzlies and the father of Grizzlies star Ja Morant after the first half of their game against the Lakers on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Former NFL tight end Shannon Sharpe reacts after being restrained by stadium security after a verbal altercation with some of the Memphis Grizzlies and the father of Grizzlies star Ja Morant after the first half of their game against the Lakers on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Lakers guard Kendrick Nunn, left, defends against Memphis Grizzlies guard Tyus Jones during the second half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Lakers guard Russell Westbrook takes a shot during the second half of their game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Lakers forward LeBron James shoots in front of Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks (24) during the second half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Memphis Grizzlies forward Brandon Clarke shoots as Lakers guard Russell Westbrook defends during the second half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Lakers forward LeBron James holds the ball as Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks defends during the second half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant maintains his dribble as he is chased by Lakers guard Dennis Schroder on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Memphis Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane shoots during the second half of their game against the Lakers on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Lakers forward LeBron James shoots as Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. defends during the second half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Memphis Grizzlies forward Brandon Clarke dunks during the second half of their game against the Lakers on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant goes in for a layup past Lakers forward Wenyen Gabriel during the second half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. The 6-foot-2, 23-year-old Morant has become appointment viewing for many fans, regardless of their allegiances. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant gets past Lakers forward Wenyen Gabriel as he attempts a layup on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Lakers forward LeBron James looks to pass as Memphis Grizzlies defenders converge on him during the second half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Lakers guard Dennis Schroder controls the ball after stealing the ball from the Memphis Grizzlies’ Desmond Bane, right, during the final 10 seconds of the game on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. Schroder completed a three-point play with 7.6 seconds left and the Lakers held on for a 122-121 win. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Lakers guard Dennis Schroder scores after making a steal at midcourt to give his team a lead with 7.6 seconds left as the Memphis Grizzlies’ Ja Morant (12) and Desmond Bane (22) watch on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Former NFL tight end Shannon Sharpe, center, stands up during the second half of a game between the Lakers and the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. At halftime, Sharpe confronted Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks and center Steven Adams. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) shoots as Lakers forward Wenyen Gabriel (35) and guard Russell Westbrook (0) defend late in the second half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Lakers forward LeBron James defends as Memphis Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane shoots during the second half on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

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LOS ANGELES — Lakers fans’ nails have been whittled to nubs over the last two weeks. Seven of the team’s past nine games have come down to one possession in the last minute.

For the Lakers, most of them have been heartbreakers. But on Friday night – on national television against a top Western Conference contender riding an 11-game winning streak – magic finally happened for the home team.

Dennis Schröder plucked victory from the hands of Desmond Bane, taking advantage of a double team and dashing down the court for an and-one layup that proved to be the edge the Lakers (21-25) needed in a thrilling 122-121 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies (31-14) at home.

The 29-year-old German was a part of a double-team on the inbounds pass, but Bane had his back to him, leaving Schröder to attack his ball hand for the rare opportunity that actually swung the Lakers’ way.

“I just got the steal, and I just thought ‘push the ball,’” Schröder said. “That’s where we’re at our best.”

It was a needed boost from Schröder on a night when LeBron James was often stymied offensively, and the Lakers were bullied on the boards. It also snapped a troubling trend: The Lakers’ last three losses had come by only 10 points combined, potential wins squandered by bad late possessions, mistakes and a dash of ill luck on the whistle. On Friday, all three reversed to help get the Lakers back on track against the top-ranked defense in the NBA.

Schröder finished with 19 points, eight rebounds and eight assists – a performance perhaps second only to Russell Westbrook (29 points, six assists) in keeping the Lakers competitive with the Grizzlies, who had five players score 16 points or more.

Schröder had made a key pair of free throws just before his steal, then flipped the game with 7.6 seconds left. The Grizzlies got a look for Ja Morant that he missed, but had a chance to tie with Brandon Clarke at the free-throw line. Clarke missed the second free throw, effectively giving his team the loss.

James and Westbrook made a pair of critical putbacks for each other in the final minutes to keep the Lakers within striking distance. For all of the Grizzlies’ height and brawn, the Lakers made up for it with hustle: They beat one of the NBA’s best fast-break teams at their own game, outscoring them 20-4 in transition.

“Just one of those great, great nights and a helluva game,” Coach Darvin Ham said. “I wish I could’ve watched it as a fan and not been sweating, know what I mean?”

James ran up against Dillon Brooks, one of the most physical defenders he’s faced this season, and Brooks was unafraid to bump shoulders and hips to counter James’ catches. The Grizzlies also allotted plenty of help behind Brooks – including All-Defensive team big man Jaren Jackson Jr. patrolling behind.

With James struggling from the floor (8 for 21, 23 points), Westbrook stepped in to fill the void, stirring the Lakers’ offense with aggressive drives into the space created by Memphis’ deference to James. Westbrook even had some success with his jump shot, including a pair of 3-pointers.

It was all the better that Westbrook was aggressive: The Grizzlies simply abused the Lakers on the glass, getting new life with their 24 offensive rebounds. The 39 second-chance points were the most the Lakers have allowed all season.

“I mean they have nine guys that are over 6-8, 6-9; I think we’re playing with like three or four right now,” James said, throwing up his hands. “You spend a lot of time keying in on Ja Morant. You got two guys flying at him, contesting Ja Morant and you got the strongest guy in the NBA in Steven Adams under there battling versus guards, you’re probably going to lose that battle 100 out of 100 times.”

The basketball was upstaged at the end of the first half by the smoke on the sidelines: The entire Grizzlies bench ventured over to the corner of the court across from their bench to exchange words with Fox Sports commentator and former NFL tight end Shannon Sharpe, who acknowledged he had been clucking at Brooks and calling him “too small” to guard James, according to ESPN. Memphis center Steven Adams was the most animated Grizzly in the scene, towering above security with his hair pulled out of his typical bun.

The affair concluded with Sharpe and Ja Morant’s father Tee Morant issuing statements to different outlets (Morant told TNT that he and Sharpe are “all good”) and settling back in their seats. During the third quarter break, they even shook hands and hugged, to show they had flushed the beef.

Brooks, however, seemed less sure that Sharpe should have remained after the scuffle.

“A regular pedestrian like him? No,” he said. “He shoulda never came back in the game. But it’s L.A.”

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But the second half was when Ja Morant started going off himself, perhaps lit by his father’s dust-up. After a 2-for-10 start from the field, Morant wound up shooting 6 for 12 with 14 points in the third quarter, winding his way into the paint on his trademark explosive drives.

The Grizzlies led by as much as 13 points in the third quarter, but Westbrook helped wrestle the margin back into single digits, hitting a bank shot with one second left in the period.

It was that never-say-die attitude that Ham said helped guide the group to finally breaking through after a week of tough-to-swallow results.

“All the guys felt kinda down after the Sacramento game,” he said. “We went back in, took a look at ourselves, addressed some areas that we needed to get better at during film yesterday, and the guys came out and competed their butts off, man. Really just fought all the way until the end.”

Throughout the season, the Lakers certainly have shown their warts and deficiencies. But fire isn’t something they lack, James said.

“We compete every night,” he said. “If you’ve watched any of our games over the last couple months, it’s not a problem. So, I’m not worried about that.”

DENNIS SCHRODER STEAL & SCORE GIVES THE LAKERS THE LEAD

7.6 SECONDS LEFT ON ESPN pic.twitter.com/MLxkaGY3MP

— NBA (@NBA) January 21, 2023

WHAT A FINISH in Los Angeles!

Lakers come back for the dramatic win vs. Memphis pic.twitter.com/ab4TZm7Ql8

— NBA (@NBA) January 21, 2023

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