Grizzlies guard Marcus Smart issues strong statement after huge game vs Lakers

Jan 5, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Marcus Smart (36) heads down
Jan 5, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Marcus Smart (36) heads down / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Friday night served as game one of a grueling three-game road trip for the Memphis Grizzlies, a time that analysts believe to be a "now or never" scenario as the club attempts to claw its way back to relevancy following an 11-23 start.

Despite kicking things off against a Lakers team that finds itself in a similarly desperate situation (17-18 coming into the contest) and who were playing host in front of a packed home crowd at Arena, things ended up going astronomically well for Taylor Jenkins' squad, as they played a brand of basketball more reminiscent of their 2022-23 selves rather than 2023-24.

While five members of the Grizzlies saw double-digit scoring feats, with four dropping 20-plus, during their 127-113 win, Marcus Smart was easily one of the main catalysts in their triumphant efforts, as he was a lights-out performer from the game's opening tip-off to its final buzzer.

Hitting a game-high eight three-pointers (shot 57.1 percent from deep), the veteran was seemingly a man on a mission right from the get-go (scored 19 points in the first half alone) and, following the contest, he dished on the mission his team as a whole is on as they inch closer to the midway point on the season.

Marcus Smart dishes on mindset of Grizzlies following win over Lakers

"No matter what we've been through this year we're going to continue to fight and no matter what's thrown at us we're going to keep being resilient and continue to show who we is."

Marcus Smart on Grizzlies

Smart went on to finish off the contest with 29 points, 5 assists, and 2 rebounds while the Grizzlies as a collective shot a whopping 51.1 percent from deep and 53.7 percent from the field overall.

Though this bout against the Lakers was only one game, it serves as a reminder of just how productive this team can be with their core (sans Steven Adams, of course) of Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Smart at full health and, simply put, is a great way to start their three-game trip.