The Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies resume pleasantries when they meet Monday night in Game 4 of their NBA Western Conference playoff series.
Game time is 10 p.m. ET at Crypto.com Arena where the Lakers are -4.5 point favorites. The total is 220.5. LA is a -190 moneyline favorite compared to Memphis +165.
Los Angeles Lakers (46-40, 2-1, #7 seed)
The Lakers went wire-to-wire in Saturday’s 121-111 Game 3 victory to take a 2-1 series lead. They led 35-9 at the end of the first quarter and by 22 points in the fourth quarter.
LA’s two headed monster of Anthony Davis and LeBron James dominated with Davis scoring 31 points and grabbing 17 rebounds:
ANTHONY DAVIS!!! TALK YO SHIT!!! 😭🔥pic.twitter.com/JQRgaUMXsy
— LakeShowYo (@LakeShowYo) April 23, 2023
For his part, James had 25 points with nine rebounds and five assists:
LeBron gets called old and starts doing stuff like this
— Masked 🎭 (@MaskedInLA) April 23, 2023
James performance came after the Grizzlies’ Dillon Brooks referred to the four-time MVP, who also has four NBA titles, as “old” and not worthy of respect “.
Brooks only compounded his poor decision-making by swinging his left hand into James’ groin in Game 3:
Dillon Brooks will not be suspended by the NBA for striking LeBron James in the groin, per @wojespn.
Brooks was ejected 17 seconds into the second half last night in Game 3 of Grizzlies-Lakers.pic.twitter.com/ZJBDHUO56o
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) April 23, 2023
Brooks who wasn’t suspended for Game 4, might think twice about “poking the bear”. Especially after his seven point, 3 of 13 shooting night and ejection.
Memphis Grizzlies (52-33, 1-2, #2 seed)
Ja Morant returned in a big way after missing Game 2 with a sore hand. He scored 45 points, including 22 in a row at one point:
“That boy is good… When great players get it going, there’s nothing you can do… You can’t stop it.” – LeBron James on Ja Morant’s performance in Game 3.
Ja joins LeBron and Kobe as the only three in the last 25 postseasons to score 22+ straight points.
— Grizz Lead (@Grizz_Lead) April 23, 2023
Morant also had 13 assists and nine rebounds but didn’t get much help. Desmond Bane scored 18 points for Memphis, which shot 37.6 percent in the game and just 26.0 percent in the first half, when they trailed by as many as 29.
Final add Brooks
Brooks is widely considered to be a dirty, antagonistic player; basically Draymond Green, only not as good. And the numbers back it up. Brooks led the league this season with 18 technical fouls. His two flagrants might not sound like a lot, but nobody in the league had more than three.
The Lakers can keep him real quiet with a victory in Game 4.
Brooks had been taunting LeBron in the media all series ahead of Game 3. But after Game 3, he declined to speak to the media. Maybe he’s learning on the fly.
Game 4 Notes
James and Davis have struggled to stay on the floor together all season, but they appear to be in good health now. That bodes well for winning the series and advancing to the Western Conference semi-finals. However, the Lakers figure to get a Grizzlies team with more of an early sense of urgency in Game 4.