LeBron James on Lakers’ Rally of a Win: ‘I Was Able to Make a Couple of Plays’

LeBron James and the Lakers didn’t look like a team that could somehow, someway win Game 4 against the Grizzlies in LA on Monday night.

But thanks to James and the veterans around him, that’s exactly what happened. It was James’ driving layup, that went high off the glass over the outstretched arm of Grizzlies big man Jaren Jackson Jr., that sent the game into overtime.

Anthony Davis made a similar shot later, and the Lakers emerged with a 117-111 win and 3-1 series lead.

Two big-time players making two big-time shots after being just so-so, scoring-wise, the rest of the night.

James finished with 22 points and a whopping 20 rebounds … oh, and took a couple charges from Grizzlies star guard Ja Morant along the way. Veterans and proven winners tend to raise their play at this time of year, and that was James on Monday.

“I just try to be as great as I can be offensively, but more importantly on the defensive end,” James told reporters. “That was the mindset tonight. I was able to make a couple of plays. … My teammates told me I had 20 and 20. It’s the first time I’ve done it in my career, so that’s pretty cool, I guess.”

Along with the big plays by James and Davis, the Lakers received three straight 3-pointers from D’Angelo Russell in the fourth quarter, erasing a 97-90 deficit at the time.

Guard Austin Reaves finished with a team-high 23 points, Russell went for 15 and underrated forward Jarred Vanderbilt scored 15 with some strong defense.

“I’m so proud of our guys, the way we fought,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said. “We found a way.”

As for James, 38, making big-time plays is nothing new for the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. The playoffs are always when he’s at his best, proving that his age really is just a number.

“He just took over down the stretch,” Davis told reporters of James. “Got us a bucket to get to overtime. … All our guys, it was a good team effort. This team is not going to go away.”

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