LeBron James led the Los Angeles Lakers to 3-1 first round series lead against the Memphis Grizzlies.
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The stars were out in Hollywood as LeBron James led the Los Angeles Lakers to a thrilling 117-111 overtime win against the Memphis Grizzlies to give the purple and gold a 3-1 first round playoff series lead.
Playing in his 20th year in the NBA, James became the oldest player in league history to record 20+ points and 20+ rebounds in a playoff game.
The Lakers squad was once again in awe of the 19-time All-Star’s performance, and not for the first time this season, treated his post-game arrival in the changing room with a barrage of goat noises.
The first round series between Memphis and LA has been an incredibly tight affair so far and Game 4 was no different.
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Going into the final quarter, the Grizzlies were leading by just two points, but with five minutes left in regulation, they extended the lead to seven.
The Lakers then rallied back thanks to a brilliant offensive run from D’Angelo Russell. The 27-year-old scored nine consecutive points as he stroked home three clutch shots from beyond the arc.
The 19-time All-Star scored 22 points to go with an incredible 20 rebounds.
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With the game edging towards crunch time, neither team could forge a significant advantage, but on a vintage Grizzlies bucket, Memphis took the lead.
Jaren Jackson Jr. blocked a Rui Hachimura effort, Ja Morant then charged forward on the fast break and played a flashy pass to Desmond Bane who scored an open layup to go in front 104-102 with 6.1 seconds left on the clock.
MIAMI, FLORIDA – APRIL 24: Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat reacts during the fourth quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks in Game Four of the Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs at Kaseya Center on April 24, 2023 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
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This was now a golden opportunity for Memphis to level the series, but with the ball in James’ hand, you can never be too confident.
The ‘King’ glided past Xavier Tillman with ease and drove to the basket where he was confronted by the towering Jackson Jr. – the 2022/23 NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
James threw up a shot high off the glass, looping over the defender and the ball rattled its way into the bucket to take the game to overtime.
The clutch shots didn’t stop there for LeBron, and the 38-year-old gave the Lakers command of the extra period with a tough bucket over series nemesis Dillon Brooks.
Dillon Brooks has tried to start a war of words with James but could not stop him on the court.
Speaking to reporters after the game, James was as cool as ever surrounding the hype of his display.
James said: “I just try to be as great as I can be offensively, but more importantly on the defensive end. That was the mindset tonight.
“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,” James nonchalantly added on his record-breaking game.
The usually talkative Brooks declined to speak to the media once again, as did Grizzlies talisman Morant, as the young side look to be heading towards a disappointing early exit.