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Lakers should give Grizzlies a chance to reclaim dominance at home

The Grizzlies bounced back Wednesday night as they took down the Houston Rockets 102-100 thanks to a clutch shot by Big Spain. Now, Memphis returns back home Friday night to face a hungry Lakers team, who has already taken several tough losses this week.

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

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Injury List:

Lakers: Julius Randle (Out, Leg); Steve Nash (Ankle, Out); Nick Young (Knee, Questionable); Ronnie Price (Elbow, Out); Kobe Bryant (Shoulder, Out)

Grizzlies: Vince Carter (Foot, Questionable)

Recently From L.A.:

The L.A. Lakers are in the middle of a three game losing streak, their most recent loss being at Miami, 100-94. They took a loss vs. the OKC Thunder on Sunday, and they dropped one at Charlotte on Tuesday by one point. Surely, this Lakers team is eager for a win, and Memphis has to be careful not to underestimate this athletic team. Ed Davis, former Grizzly, is having a nice season as he's averaging 8.2 PPG, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks. In the loss at Miami, he had 14 points. Along with Davis, Tarik Black, former Memphis Tiger, will also be returning to Memphis this Friday.

Recently From Memphis:

The Grizzlies and Houston Rockets faced off in a heated Southwest division match up Wednesday. Both teams were on a back-to-back, and Memphis trailed by 7 going into the second quarter. However, Memphis won the three other quarters. The Grizzlies opened up a twelve point lead in the fourth, but the Rockets came blazing back. The game was tied coming down the stretch with around 1:30 to go. Then this happened:

Viva La Spain, indeed.

Keys to Victory:

1. Play Your Pace

The Lakers are 10th in pace in the NBA. The Grizzlies are 26th. To pull out a victory Friday night, Memphis is going to limit the fast break points for the Lakers. Part of controlling the pace is that Memphis has to value the basketball and limit their turnovers. Playing against a team like the Lakers can inspire some sloppy play, so Memphis needs to be sure to remain offensively and defensively sharp against this L.A. team.

2. Don't Underestimate Your Opponent

The Lakers sit at 16-44. The barrage of injuries definitely hasn't helped their record this year. At the beginning of this season, Kobe Bryant and Julius Randle were healthy, but now they're both out for the season. The Grizzlies have experienced great health so far this season, and this has definitely aided them in their 43-17 record. However, the Bears of Beale Street can't follow suit from their last home game against an inferior Jazz team. No matter who is on the court, the Grizzlies have to remain focused and get off to a better start than they have as of late.

3. Keep the Lakers off the Line

The Grizzlies did a great job Wednesday night in Houston as they held the Rockets to single digit free throw attempts. The L.A. Lakers are tied for 9th in the league for free throw attempts, so Memphis has to be crisp on defense and keep the Lakers off of the line. Even if they aren't shooting efficiently on the floor, allowing the Lakers to shoot a ton of free throws can surely get them going offensively. The Lakers average 24.1 free throw attempts per game, and on average they make 17.9 of them.

Final Call:

Although the Lakers will come out with great effort, Memphis' ability to execute will help propel them over the Lakers Friday night. The momentum from Wednesday night's win will carry over to Friday, and Memphis' offense will start rolling against the Lakers' poor defense. L.A. will attempt a good amount of three's, but they won't make enough of them to grab the W. Memphis will take care of business at home and end a two game losing streak in the Grindhouse with a 104-90 victory.