LeBron James showed everybody once again not to write him and the Los Angeles Lakers off just yet in this season’s playoffs. As Crypto.com Arena roared with excitement, the Lakers finished Monday night with a 117-111 victory in Game 4 against the Memphis Grizzlies. Los Angeles is currently leading 3-1 in the series.
The game itself was down to the wire as both teams refused to give up and had to continue to overtime after James made a crucial layup with 0.8 seconds left in regulation to tie the game 104-104.
James hit his first double-double of 22 points and 22 rebounds. It’s the first 20/20 postseason game by a Laker since Shaquille O’Neal in the 2004 NBA Finals.
“I just try to be as great as I can be offensively, but more importantly on the defensive end,” James said, as per AP. “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.”
Austin Reeves led the scoring chart for the Lakers with 23 points, followed by D’Angelo Russell’s 17, Jarred Vanderbilt’s 15 and Anthony Davis’ double-double of 12 points and 11 assists.
“He just took over down the stretch,” AD said of James. “Got us a bucket to get to overtime. … All our guys, it was a good team effort. This team is not going to go away.”
James shot 8-for-18 from the field and 5-for-7 from the foul line and added seven assists and two blocks for the night.
Lakers head coach Darvin Ham had nothing but praise for his players after pulling off one of the best performances this season. Ham highlighted the players’ perseverance until the end, making them one game away from the second round of the playoffs.
“I’m so proud of our guys, the way we fought,” Ham said. “We found a way.”
Ham also praised Russell’s key role in this game as the guard hit three consecutive 3-pointers on Monday night.
“I have to give a huge shout-out to D’Angelo Russell,” Ham said, ESPN reported. “I mean, we were flailing at best offensively, and he was able to catch fire, and, man, he put us on our back offensively and put us in a position to have a chance to close the gap, eclipse it and walk away with the win. If D’Lo doesn’t play like he played, we don’t win this game.”
Grizzlies on Game 4 loss
Desmond Bane, who led the Grizzlies’ scoring table with 36 points, shared why his team had to return home with a defeat. He believed the team lacked “discipline” so they are now down 3-1.
“It always comes down to game-plan discipline,” Bane said. “I mean, LeBron’s been a strong right-hand driver since he came into the league 20 years ago or however long he’s been in the league. He gets to his right hand, and we got two guys on that side that are supposed to be in help and we didn’t execute.
“It’s pretty much as simple as that. Game-plan discipline — we need it for 48 minutes, and it let us down.”
Head coach Taylor Jenkins called the loss “very disappointing” and backup point guard Tyus Jones said the team must wake up heading to Game 5.
“At this point in the season, it’s win or go home, so we got to regroup,” said Jones. “Can’t feel sorry for ourselves. Can be frustrated, but at the same time, you got to fix it.”
The Grizzlies are hosting Game 5 this Wednesday at FedEx Forum Check out Jays NBA Best bet for the game.