Memphis poked the wrong bear in LeBron James, as he marched his team to a W in Game 4 117-111
The electricity in Los Angeles has been noticeable since the beginning of March. Fans of the Lakers have been given a second chance for a playoff run ever since general manager, Rob Pelinka, made roster moves to improve the chemistry and fixing consistency throughout the roster. Postgame comments from Grizzlies’ Dillon Brooks were heard throughout the locker room of the Lakers after a game 2 victory in Memphis.
Since that time, LeBron James has focused on being glue to a roster that needed leadership and scoring. To summarize the Lakers victory on Monday night, LeBron spoke highly about his mindset and his focus on defense. “I just try to be as great as I can be offensively, but more importantly on the defensive end. That was the mindset tonight. I was able to make a couple of plays… My teammates told me I had 20 and 20. It’s the first time I’ve done it in my career, so that’s pretty cool, I guess.” Not only did LeBron end the game with 20 points and 20 rebounds, but also James came up clutch converting a game tying layup with 0.8 seconds left in the 4th quarter to send the game to overtime. The stat line for LeBron was truly vintage adding 7 assists, and 2 blocks to his 20 points, 20 rebounds. If anyone was wondering if LeBron had responded verbally to comments made by Grizzlies’ Dillon Brooks, the overwhelming response was displayed by his actions and play not with words. LeBron iced the game late in overtime to help Lakers take 3 games to 1 lead over Memphis.
Lakers shot 27.8% from three-point range, turned the ball over 15 times, and allowed 58 points in the paint. Coach Darvin Ham knows there can be improvements for the Lakers, however his smile post game showed excitement, “I’m so proud of our guys, the way we fought. We found a way.” Anthony Davis struggled with 12 points, but did help with 11 rebounds. Four players added double figure scoring to help LeBron (Jarred Vanderbilt 15 points), (D’Angelo Russell 17 points), (Austin Reaves 23 points), (Dennis Schroder 12 points). Lakers head to Memphis for game 5 against the Grizzlies on Wednesday night looking to close out the series. Valiant effort by Desmond Bane and Ja Morant from the Grizzlies, which sets up a must win for Memphis. Los Angeles Lakers look to carry that momentum to capture a road win to be the first team ever to win a play-in tournament game, and then go on to win a playoff series.