‘Old’ man LeBron James shows up Grizzlies

LOS ANGELES (Compton Bulletin) – The “old” man is having his say. LeBron James scored the tying basket in regulation with less than a second left and helped the Los Angeles Lakers defeat the Memphis Grizzlies 117-111in overtime.

The win gives the Lakers a 3-1 advantage in this best-of-seven series. James finished the game with 22 points and 20 rebounds at Crypto.com Arena. It was a different scenario for the Lakers and Grizzlies in Game 4 than Game 3, but the same results. The Lakers wound up getting the “W.”

LeBron James
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James nearly recorded a triple-double against the Los Angeles Clippers during a Christmas Day game played at Staples Center. James scored 23 points, dished off 10 assists and grabbed nine rebounds in the Lakers’ 111-106 defeat to the Clippers. File Photo © Mark Hammond for News4usonline

The Grizzlies were run out of Crypto.com Arena in Game 3. Midway through Game 4, the Grizzlies found themselves playing demoralized and looking like they had just been handed the house keys to go home. 

This was not supposed to be a repeat of Game 3, but Game 4 turned in favor of the Lakers late in the first quarter and second period. Memphis didn’t think the series would go like this. The first-round Western Conference series was not supposed to be this hard. 

 The Lakers hammered the No. 2 seeded Grizzlies with a scoring blitz in the first quarter of Game 3 and rode that wave all the way to a 111-101 win at Crypto.com Arena.

After that victory, the Lakers held a 2-1 series lead. Win Game 4, and the Lakers would have Memphis in a near-impossible scenario to win the series. That meant coming all the way back from a 3-1 deficit. Well, that’s a reality now for the young Grizzlies.

It’s crazy to think that the Lakers, a team that to play its way into the postseason in the first place, would just flick the young and restless Grizzlies to the brink of getting dismissed out of the playoffs early. That’s where we were Monday night. 

James is trying to inch the Lakers to the second round of the playoffs. James represents the old guard in the NBA. A four-time NBA champion, James and the Lakers seemed to be playing better now in the postseason than they did during the regular season. 

But with the playoffs, you have to have a watch-and-see approach. By this time next week, we’ll know if the Lakers have advanced to the next round or were eventually sent home on an early vacation. In both Game 1 and Game 3, James and the Lakers looked like world-beaters. 

But on the other side of the coin, Morant and the Grizzlies are the young upstarts looking to knock out the old dragon. The difference between the Lakers and the Grizzlies is experience, which is why Los Angeles should win this series. 

While Morant is the next NBA superstar in waiting, Memphis is basically a youth-laden team that does a lot of chirping. Yes, the Grizzlies are a talented and athletic bunch, but they talk too much. During the season, the Grizzlies were able to back up a lot of the trash talk they’ve been known to dish out on the basketball court. 

All those wolf tickets the Grizzlies have been trying to sell have been sent back for a refund by the purple and gold. Trash talk doesn’t mean squat to veterans like James and Anthony Davis. Before Game 4 during his pregame press conference, Lakers coach Darvin Ham talked about keeping his guys focused on the task at hand and not yielding to the “distractions.”  

So, what happened in Game 4? The Lakers raced out to a double-digit lead in the second quarter. Memphis closed the gap to two points by the time halftime rolled around. Ok. Now, we have a ballgame. By the end of the second period, the Lakers suddenly got cold feet, which would explain why the Grizzlies were able to close on them late in the quarter. 

The game would remain close all the way until the final seconds ticked off the clock in overtime. The Lakers survived this one, and just need to win one more game to close out the series.

Lead photo of Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James was taken by Mark Hammond for News4usonline/File Photo. This article appears courtesy of the Compton Bulletin