Memphis looked well on their way to breaking their record, jumping out to a 13-point lead late in the third quarter, but a 41-point final period from the Lakers turned the game on its head.
Los Angeles trailed by five points with under a minute on the clock, and after Dennis Schroder cut the margin to one with 19 seconds left, he then stole the ball and laid it in – with a foul – to put the Lakers in front for good.
Brandon Clarke had a chance to tie the game with two free throws in the final seconds, but after hitting the first, he missed the second. He was arguably the Grizzlies' best player, shooting a perfect seven-of-seven from the field for 20 points and 10 rebounds in his 22 minutes.
Russell Westbrook led all scorers with 29 points on 10-of-18 shooting, adding six assists and five rebounds, while LeBron James had 23 points (eight-of-21), nine rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks.
The win improves the Lakers' record to 21-25, leaving them 13th in the Western Conference, but only two games behind the Los Angeles Clippers (24-24) in the race for the six seed.
Kawhi back to his best for the Clippers
Leonard shot 13-of-18 from the field while adding seven assists and two steals, marking his sixth consecutive game with at least 24 points and a steal.
During that stretch, his 30.0 points per game is the seventh-highest figure in the league, all while shooting 57.4 per cent from the field, 50 per cent from deep and 93.8 per cent from the free throw line.
He was supported well by fellow All-Star Paul George, who dished a season-high 12 assists to go with his 16 points.
Undermanned Warriors shoot the lights out
The Golden State Warriors came into their road fixture against the Cleveland Cavaliers without Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins – but still came away with a 120-114 victory.
As a team, the Warriors shot 23-of-43 (53.5 per cent) from three-point range, opening a 20-point lead in the third quarter that was too much for the Cavaliers to overcome.