The Grizzlies have once again demonstrated the blueprint for winning without Ja Morant.

Despite Ja Morant's incredible talent, the Grizzlies' team strength had little to do with him. Memphis was one of the NBA's top defensive teams for 82 games during the regular season.

In terms of defensive field goal percentage, they are first. Second in terms of defensive rating. In terms of defensive rebounds, he ranks fourth. 

With Morant sidelined for Game 2 of the Grizzlies' first-round series against the Lakers due to a hand injury, Memphis relied on its strengths.

The Grizzlies defeated the Lakers 103-93 on Wednesday to even the series. Memphis limited Los Angeles to 41.2% shooting. The Lakers made only 26.9% of their three-point attempts. 

The Grizzlies' switching defense forced Los Angeles to shoot shots late in the shot clock on multiple occasions.

Memphis forced 12 turnovers and, after being outrebounded by the Lakers in Game 1, outrebounded them 49-47 in Game 2. After the first quarter, the Grizzlies lead 30-19 and never trailed again.

"First quarter, they got the best of us," D'Angelo Russell said. "Never allowed us to get into a rhythm after that." "They were desperate," Austin Reaves claimed. "They played a lot harder than us."

Memphis made challenging Anthony Davis a higher priority in Game 2 after he scored 22 points in Game 1. "They bumped up their physicality," Lakers coach Darvin Ham remarked.