The Lakers got off to a roaring start in Game 4 against the Grizzlies, but despite their early lead, the game was tied at the end of regulation, forcing them to come up big in overtime to secure a commanding 3-1 series lead as they head to Memphis for Game 5. LeBron James had a stellar performance, making a game-tying layup to force overtime, where he and Anthony Davis dominated to secure the Lakers' victory. James finished with 22 points and 20 rebounds, marking his first 20/20 performance in an NBA game. This feat had not been accomplished by a Laker since Shaquille O'Neal in the 2004 NBA Finals.
The Lakers received significant contributions from Austin Reaves, who was pivotal once again, leading the team in points for the night. Jarred Vanderbilt, known primarily for his defensive prowess, stepped up and scored ten points in the first quarter. Meanwhile, D'Angelo Russell hit three crucial three-pointers in the fourth quarter to keep the Lakers in the game. The Lakers will aim to clinch the series on the road to get some much-needed rest before the second round, but they will face a tough challenge against a team with a solid home record.
On the other hand, the Grizzlies were looking to bounce back from a lackluster performance in Game 3, where they only scored nine points in the first quarter. They rallied back in the second half of Game 4, with Ja Morant leading the charge with an outburst in the fourth quarter. However, their efforts fell short as the Lakers held on for the win. The Grizzlies put up a much better fight in Game 4, going toe-to-toe with the Lakers, but were unable to close out the game in the final moments. Desmond Bane had a standout performance, leading the contest with 31 points on 13-of-29 shooting, while Morant finished the game with 19 points, seven assists, and four rebounds on 8-of-24 shooting.
As the series heads back to Memphis for Game 5, the home team will need to win to avoid elimination in the first round of the playoffs.
Contributor: Ogunremi Abdul-Muiz Ayodeji (@Forza_Speziale)
Editor: Josh Bhagratie (@jshyb_)