Sports

Memphis Grizzlies make winning play-off start while LA Lakers lose 

The Memphis Grizzlies shocked the Utah Jazz in their opening NBA Western Conference playoff game while reigning champions Los Angeles Lakers also lost. Dillon Brooks and Ja Morant combined for 57 points as the eighth-seeded Grizzlies shocked the top-seeded Jazz 112-109 in Salt Lake City.

Devin Booker hit 34 points on his playoff debut as the Phoenix Suns beat the Lakers 99-90. It was the first post-season game since 2010 for the second-seeded Suns.

They achieved the win despite the experienced Chris Paul being hampered by a shoulder injury, with Deandre Ayton adding 21 points and 16 rebounds, while Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson added 10 points apiece.

A physical encounter saw the Suns’ Cameron Payne ejected in the fourth quarter after a shoving match which saw players and backroom staff stream onto the court as tempers flared.

The Lakers, meanwhile, struggled to hit their stride throughout, with LeBron James finishing with 18 points and Anthony Davis with 13. But the Grizzlies, who beat the Golden State Warriors in overtime in the play-in tournament to reach the playoffs for the first time in four seasons, maintained their momentum against the Jazz. Brooks top-scored for his team on 31 points with Morant adding 26.

Buhlebezwe Ntiwane.

 

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