Ja Morant’s record-breaking third quarter, triple-double highlight Grizzlies’ win vs. Lakers

The first and second halves between the Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Lakers were drastically different. Both teams shot lower than 40% and neither reached 50 in a first-half slugfest.

All of a sudden, Ja Morant erupted with a record-breaking third quarter, and Jaren Jackson Jr. threw down a left-handed putback full extension dunk that sent the FedExForum crowd into pandemonium.

The Grizzlies fed off of the second half momentum to defeat the Lakers 121-109 on Tuesday night.

Memphis (37-23) was led by Morant’s 39 points despite missing all five of his 3-point attempts. He added 10 rebounds and 10 assists to record a triple-double.

The Lakers (29-33) had several turnovers that allowed Memphis to play its preferred up-tempo style, and the Grizzlies took advantage with 33 transition points.

Here are some takeaways from the game.

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Missing Impact players

The Lakers and Grizzlies were both missing impact starters, and the difference was noticeable. Without Steven Adams, Memphis got a double-double from Xavier Tillman Sr., but Jarred Vanderbilt and Anthony Davis were active and aggressive as rebounders. Without LeBron James and D’Angelo Russell, Dillon Brooks guarded Dennis Schroder, and limited his scoring impact.

It must be the shoes

Morant was struggling to score in the first half. He shot 3-for-14 and had six points. After wearing his ‘Midnight’ Ja 1 sneakers in the first half, Morant switched to Ja 1 ‘scratch’ player exclusives in the second half. The All-Star point guard followed the shoe change by finishing with the highest scoring quarter in franchise history. Morant scored 28 points in the third quarter on 10-for-12 shooting.

Morant’s third quarter eruption was part of a big frame by the Grizzlies. Memphis scored 47 points in the third quarter after totaling 46 points in the first half.

Finishing the job

Much has been made of the recent Grizzlies struggles to close out games. A little more than a month ago, that concerning stretch started after a late-game blow lead against the Lakers. Memphis took care of business on Tuesday. Morant kept his foot on the pedal late in the fourth, and the Grizzlies’ defense was communicating at a high level while forcing turnovers.

What’s next

The Grizzlies have a quick turnaround and will travel to Houston for a game against the Rockets (7 p.m., Bally Sports Southeast). Memphis will be favorites against a young Rockets team, but Houston has a ton of young offensive firepower and can have a hot night on any given day. The Rockets will also be on the second night of a back to back.

This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Ja Morant’s record-breaking quarter leads Memphis Grizzlies vs. Lakers