The Los Angeles Lakers took a thrilling overtime Game 4 in the 2023 NBA Playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies. They won 117-111, behind a legendary performance by none other than LeBron James. James posted his first career 20-20 game, finishing with 22 points, 20 rebounds and 7 assists. Not to mention, he poured in the two most clutch buckets of the game for the Lakers. With time running out in regulation, James drove left against Xavier Tillman and banked it in high off the glass over the outstretched arms of Jaren Jackson Jr. to tie the game at 104-104. Then in overtime, James was matched up with Dillon Brooks, the duel the NBA world has been waiting for, and the King put the game on ice. He drove left, drawing a foul on Brooks as he banked in the bucket and released a primal yell to the crowd. This put the Lakers up 113-108, all but icing Game 4 and ensuring a 3-1 Lakers lead heading into Game 5.
Besides James, the Lakers had solid production across the roster in Game 4. Austin Reaves had 23 points and 6 assists, while albeit a down-night scoring the ball for Anthony Davis, he still finished with a 12 point, 11 rebound double-double. Additionally, D’Angelo Russell might have had the most pivotal stretch of the fourth quarter for the Lakers, hitting three straight 3-pointers after Los Angeles found themselves down seven with time dwindling down. Russell finished with 17 points, the fifth starter to post a double-digit scoring night. Jarred Vanderbilt rounded out the starting lineup with 15 points of his own.
The Lakers and Grizzlies now head back to Memphis for a pivotal Game 5. Up 3-1, the Lakers will try and advance to the second round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs, and here are three bold predictions for their series-winning effort.
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Anthony Davis drops 40 for the Los Angeles Lakers
Anthony Davis had a tough performance in Game 4, shooting 4/13 from the field on his way to 12 points. He picked up his play late in the game, hitting a few clutch buckets, but the outing was not up to his standards. He has had an inconsistent series so far, with his best game coming in a 31 point performance in Game 3. Heading back to Memphis with the opportunity to win the series, Davis and the Lakers will expect him to play at the top of his game. Fortunately for the Lakers, that will be the case as Davis pours in 40 points.
Davis has made a habit of inconsistent play in his Lakers tenure. There are times where he looks like he could be the best player on the planet, and others where he simply looks disinterested. He deals with lingering injuries often, and there is a chance he was hampered by some new ailment in Game 4. Nonetheless, if the Lakers want to compete for a title this year, they will need Davis at peak form. It will be a welcomed sight in Game 5 when Davis plays like the superstar he is, going on to score 40 points against the Memphis Grizzlies.
LeBron James has triple-double against the Memphis Grizzlies
LeBron James had a legacy game in Game 4; the first 20-20 game of his career, timely buckets in crunch time, and an all-time And-1 score and response against his newest rival Dillon Brooks on a long list of failed adversaries of the King. At 38 years old, it was a performance that can’t be compared to any other, and one that will certainly be tough to follow up. However, James clearly loves the big moments, and the chance to close out the series in Game 5 will be just that. An historic Game 4 performance will be followed up by a triple-double from LeBron James in Game 5.
If anybody is going to put up a triple-double in a series-clinching game, it would be James. Over his NBA Playoffs career, James has 28 triple-doubles. However, in the 2023 NBA Playoffs so far, he has yet to post the aforementioned stat line. That will change in Game 5, as James will post a triple-double in Memphis, and he will continue to build on his legendary resume.
Lakers close out series in dominant fashion
The fashion in which the Lakers won Game 4 and took a 3-1 lead has taken the life out of the youthful Memphis Grizzlies. After the game, Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks refused to speak to the media, an immature response from the young stars. The Grizzlies had every opportunity to win the game and tie the series, but the Lakers just found a way to respond down the stretch. With the injury to Morant, the negative discourse surrounding Brooks, and a heartbreaking loss in Game 4, the Grizzlies are going to come out flat in Game 5.
The Grizzlies have proven in this series that they are still too young, too inexperienced, and just not ready to take the step towards becoming true title contenders. A Game 4 loss is going to deflate the energy within the locker room, evident it is already happening given the response by Brooks and Morant after the game. With that being said, the Lakers will take advantage of a dispirited Grizzlies team and blitz them out of the gates in Game 5. A big lead will balloon, and the Lakers will coast to a win. Expect to see the Lakers in the second round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs after Game 5 against the Grizzlies.
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