LOS ANGELES – Dillon Brooks learned the hard way not to tempt fate.
The player he called “old,” “tired,” and just wasn’t as good as he used to score Monday’s two most important baskets. The Lakers are on the verge of eliminating the Memphis Grizzlies after winning 117-111 in overtime.
What else do you expect from LeBron James?
James, the 38-year-old four-time NBA champion and four-time all-time leading scorer of the game, burned Brooks with 29.4 seconds of overtime. Brooks was whistled for a foul and James missed the free throw, but the building was shaking from the roar of the crowd – and from James himself.
The Lakers, leading 3-1 in the series, can shut it out in Game 5 on Wednesday in Memphis.
James also tied the game with 8 seconds remaining in the standings with a high trophy layup, on Defensive Player of the Year Yaren Jackson Jr. and Xavier Tillman Sr.
Ja Morant was shot near the left elbow, but Anthony Davis chipped it wide. James caught the ball after the clock had struck zero and drilled a shot from just outside the field – but of course, it didn’t count.
By the time it was over, James had scored 22 points and grabbed 20 rebounds. At 38 years and 115 days old, James became the oldest player in NBA history (regular or postseason) to record a 20-point, 20-rebound game.
Austin Reeves led the Lakers with 23 points, Davis struggled most of the night (shooting 4-of-13) but still managed 12 points and 11 rebounds. His big game counted toward the end of regulation for one of his four blocks.
Desmond Bunny scored the Grizzlies with 36 points, but missed the only two shots they scored in overtime. Morant, coming off a 45-pointer in Game 3, scored 19 points on 8-of-24 shooting. He appeared to aggravate a bruised right hand upon his hard fall in the second quarter. Morant stayed in the match but preferred his hand, struggled with shooting and refused to attack the edge.
The Grizzlies led this game by seven points with 4:56 to go in the fourth quarter, but Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell responded with a triple and a layup to put his team back.
Both Morant and Brooks left the Grizzlies’ locker room after choosing not to speak to reporters, which was against NBA protocol.
(Photo: Gary A Vasquez/USA Today)
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