Xavier Tillman scored a career-high 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, and the Memphis Grizzlies tied their Western Conference first-round series 1-1 Wednesday night by beating the Los Angeles Lakers 103- 93 with All-Star guard Ja Morant sidelined with an injured hand.

No. 2 seed Memphis sat Morant out after he tested his right hand that was originally hurt April 7 in a win in Milwaukee and aggravated driving to the basket in the opening loss to the Lakers. He had more tests on his hand before he was declared inactive and seen from the sidelines with a bandaged hand.

Morant’s teammates more than made up for his absence. The Grizzlies led by as much as 20 and had fans waving their towels chanting «Whoop That Trick» with 30 seconds remaining with this series guaranteeing a return to Memphis for Game 5. The Grizzlies were able to dribble the final seconds for the win.


Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant looks on during Game 2 of the team’s first round NBA basketball playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, April 19, 2023, in Memphis, Tennessee. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

Jaren Jackson Jr., the NBA Defensive Player of the Year, scored 18 points for Memphis. Desmond Bane had 17, while Tyus Jones had 10 points and eight assists replacing Morant. Dillon Brooks added 12 points and Luke Kennard had 13.

LeBron James led the Lakers with 28 points and 12 rebounds. Reserve Rui Hachimura had another great performance with 20 points. Anthony Davis struggled long after posting a double-double in the opener, going 4-for-14 and finishing with 13 points and eight rebounds.

The Lakers, winners of 11 of their previous 13, had a four-game winning streak snapped. Now they head home for Game 3 on Saturday night after never leading by more than three, and that came early in the game.

Memphis took control in the first quarter on a 22-8 run, with back-to-back 3-pointers in a span of 10 seconds by rookie David Roddy, then Kennard, who was also fouled for a four-point play.


LeBron James guard by David Roddy

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) is defended by Memphis Grizzlies forward David Roddy (27) during the second half of Game 2 of a first-round basketball playoff series in the NBA on Wednesday, April 19, 2023 in Memphis, Tennessee. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

With Bane scoring 10 points, Memphis led 30-19 after the first. Jackson made his first 3 with 58 seconds remaining, and the Grizzlies entered the half leading 59-44 after outscoring the Lakers 29-25 in the second.

Hachimura scored 11 in the third to help the Lakers cut a Memphis lead that had stretched from 66-46 to 73-67. The Grizzlies finished the quarter on a 10-4 run to push the lead to 83-71 entering the fourth.

The Lakers were never closer to 94-88 in the fourth quarter on a layup by James with 3:10 remaining. Memphis scored five in a row to push it back into double figures.


Lakers: Finished outrebounded 49-47, though they matched Memphis’s score in the paint at 50 apiece despite being outrebounded there 38-20 in the first half. … Austin Reaves had 12 points after having 23 in the opener. He went 5-for-12 in this game. … D’Angelo Russell had five points, shooting 5-for-11 after having 19 in Game 1.

Grizzlies: Jackson received his NBA Defensive Player of the Year trophy before kickoff. … Injuries have now sidelined Morant in four of the Grizzlies’ last five playoff games, dating back to last year’s conference semifinals.

Dillon Brooks yells

April 19, 2023; Memphis, Tennessee, United States; Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks (24) reacts after a dunk during the first half of Game Two of the 2023 NBA Playoffs against the Los Angeles Lakers at FedExForum. (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports)



Tillman had more points in the first quarter than he had in the entire opening loss. He made his first six shots before missing his seventh, a buzzer-beating 3-pointer that he hit on the right rim. He finished with a season high in rebounding.

Reserve John Konchar also had his moment, coming up to block the entire ball on a Davis shot in the second quarter.