LA embarrassed Memphis at Crypto.com Arena, handing Ja Morant and co. a 40-point beating. D’Angelo Russell exploded for 31 points in the contest, while LeBron chipped in 22 as LA secured the 125-85 victory. Anthony Davis was also sensational as he finished with 16 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks.
The 40-point blowout is apparently the biggest series-clinching win by a LeBron-led team in his career, per ESPN stats and Info. The previous record was 35 points when James and his then Cleveland Cavaliers destroyed the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Many have counted out the Lakers when they started off on the wrong foot in the 2022-23 season. No one thought they could still recover from their embarrassing start that saw them tally a 2-12 record in their first 14 games.
Making the day LeBron James
Making the day even more historic for LeBron, he is now the first player with 40 or more wins in closeout games, according to Stat Muse. That speaks volumes not only on his longevity but also his sustained greatness.
However, LeBron James just proved why no one should ever count out a team that he leads. While James cannot take sole credit for the Lakers’ massive turnaround–with Anthony Davis, Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell and the whole team making it possible–there’s no denying that James played a big role as well.
The Lakers now head to the second round where they will face the winner of the Sacramento Kings-Golden State Warriors series. Whioever ends up facing them, they should know better than the Grizzlies not to talk too much and underestimate LA.
LOS ANGELES — Everything that could go wrong went wrong for the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 6 against the Los Angeles Lakers.
The offense sputtered without a go-to option, key frontcourt players battled foul trouble and the Lakers had role players stepping up alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Memphis trailed by 17 points at halftime, and the game got worse — much worse — in the second half.
Memphis were pummeled 125-85 by the Lakers on Friday night, ending their season in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.
Ja Morant struggled to score with the Lakers packing the paint, and Desmond Bane, who guaranteed the Grizzlies would return home for a Game 7, couldn’t generate open looks. Jaren Jackson Jr. also struggled offensively as Memphis failed to get in a rhythm.
Bane led all starters with 15 points.
Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell sliced his way through the paint and knocked down 3-pointers in his best game of the season. He finished with a team-high 31 points. Jarred Vanderbilt, whom Memphis opted to keep leaving open in the corner, made three 3-pointers. Davis scored 16 points and had 14 rebounds, and James finished with 22 points
No Luke Kennard hurts depth
Memphis got bad news before the game when it learned Luke Kennard would be unavailable due to left shoulder soreness. No Kennard meant Memphis relied on Tyus Jones and John Konchar to play more minutes. Jones struggled to finish around the rim and never found his shot in the series. Kennard’s presence had led to easier driving and shooting opportunities for teammates, but those weren’t available on Friday night.
Offensive issues resurface
The Lakers did a good job of taking away everything Memphis wanted. They trapped Desmond Bane and stayed attached to him to limit his open looks. When Morant went to the scorer’s table to check into the game in the second quarter, Lakers head coach Darvin Ham signaled for Davis to do the same. Having Davis on the court with Morant limited the Grizzlies point guard’s effectiveness in the paint. Jackson also struggled offensively, and that left the Grizzlies with no one to turn to for most of the night. Bane, Jackson and Morant combined to shoot 11-for-44.