The Los Angeles Lakers are currently one win away from moving to the second round after a string of late-game heroics.
The Lakers seized a 3-1 series lead on Monday night, defeating the Memphis Grizzlies 117-111 thanks to a late surge and a balanced approach.
In a game that the road team sorely needed to win, the Lakers found a way to safeguard their home court, winning in overtime thanks to the valiant efforts of LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Despite the Grizzlies’ expected strong start, the Los Angeles Lakers’ role players helped weather the early storm.
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He had ten points in the opening 12 minutes and finished with 15 points and six rebounds.
Austin Reaves’ ability to tick numerous boxes came in handy yet again. Reaves was in the thick of it all, whether it was making the correct pass, scoring big points, or playing tough defense. He ended with 23 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds on the night.
With his scoring limited early on, James moved his attention to the defensive end, where he had numerous blocks that invigorated the audience and his squad.
Despite not scoring at his normal rate, James affected the game in other areas. In this game, his 20 rebounds and many drew charges were crucial.
With a satisfied double-digit lead midway through the 2nd quarter, the club was again shaken by Anthony Davis’s fall to the floor.
After injuring his hip on a drive to the basket, he had to take a playoff before returning. Desmond Bane then elbowed him in the crotch, resulting in a disgruntled Davis getting a tech after venting to a referee.
The scrapes and bruises undoubtedly contributed to one of the quietest Davis games ever. His ultimate total was 12 points on only 30% shooting. He made critical contributions down the stretch, but his performance in the first four quarters will most certainly be discussed.
The Lakers had another sloppy half as the Grizzlies used a 14-1 run to cut the margin to two points heading into the third quarter.
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In the second half, both sides traded blows, but the Grizzlies retained a slim edge down the finish. With the game slipping away from the Los Angeles Lakers, D’Angelo Russell finally made his presence felt with three three-pointers from beyond the arc to keep L.A. in it.
Unfortunately, Russell fouled out with less than two minutes remaining, and after a Desmond Bane layup in transition, the Grizzlies had a two-point lead with only 6.1 seconds remaining.
With the game and maybe the series on the line, James drove to the hoop and finished over Jaren Jackson Jr’s outstretched arm to tie the score. The next key play came from Davis, whose huge block on Ja Morant’s potential game-winning shot forced O.T.
The extra session was again about James and Davis, who provided just enough scoring to help the Lakers’ suffocating defense knock off the Grizzlies.
The playoffs are all about ugly wins, and Game 4 was no exception. Davis labored, the Lakers’ perimeter shooting was inconsistent, and nothing came easily. However, in the end, the squad did just enough to come out on top.
Despite having a commanding lead, the series is far from over as the teams return to Memphis for Game 5. The Los Angeles Lakers will need to play and execute considerably better than they did on Monday to complete the game on Wednesday.
They’re on the verge of progressing, but the task must be completed.
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