LeBron James
LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers is defended by DeAndre' Bembry #95 of the Brooklyn Nets as he drives to the basket in the game at Crypto.com Arena on December 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images


  • LeBron James logged the first-ever 20-point, 20-rebound game in his postseason career
  • Every bit of it was needed to down the Memphis Grizzlies 3-1 in the series
  • "Just trying to do whatever it takes for our team to be successful," James said after the win

The Los Angeles Lakers find themselves on the cusp of a Western Conference semifinals appearance for the first time since the 2020 playoffs inside the Orlando bubble, and LeBron James again added to his stacked legacy at the conclusion of Game 4.

In a must-win game for the Lakers, James put up the first-ever 20-point, 20-rebound, and five-assist performance of his postseason career and they needed every bit of his production to finally put away the Grizzlies and take a commanding 3-1 series lead.

The Lakers only had a two-point lead entering the second half after the Grizzlies outscored them 29-25 in the second quarter, thanks to Desmond Bane's 11-point outburst.

Momentum would fully swing towards the Grizzlies as a balanced attack from Bane, Ja Morant and Xavier Tillman in the third frame led to them keeping the lead.

Though fans have come to expect James to put up big points totals in the playoffs, it was his activity on the glass that allowed the Lakers to get second-chance attempts as evidenced by his five offensive rebounds.

On the defensive end, James bringing down 15 boards was also crucial as it ended any hope of the Grizzlies getting another opportunity at making a basket.

However, his biggest play was drawing a charge on Morant when the game was tied at 99 apiece, with less than three minutes on the clock, while Anthony Davis forced the game into overtime by blocking Morant in the dying seconds of regulation.

The Lakers put them away 117-111 in the extra period.

"Just trying to do whatever it takes for our team to be successful. Ja's [Morant] so explosive, once he gets off that runway, you ain't gonna meet him up top so [I] tried to ground him early and I was able to step in and get a charge right there that gave us an extra possession," James said in the postgame interview.

His 20 rebounds also mark a playoff career-high for him, further establishing his run of personal dominance in the postseason.

While James' first-ever 20-20 game deserves its flowers, it cannot be denied that their postseason success can also be attributed to how well the Lakers' supporting cast has played thus far despite them being relatively inexperienced.

"We got a lot of young guys in the postseason, I understand that. It's my job to make sure they stay even-keeled and understand that one game is not gonna define the whole series, but we have to be better," James also mentioned.

"I want everybody to be comfortable when we go out on the floor and just play free. Let me worry about the X's and O's and the tactical things and all that other stuff. I can do that. I have the ability to do that and still play."

Much has already been said about James' longevity, but for the 20-year NBA veteran to be the best player on the floor in a series where names such as Ja Morant and Anthony Davis also strut their wares, it speaks to how well his game has aged.

The Lakers will look to advance to the next round with a Game 5 victory on the Grizzlies' home floor of the FedEx Forum on Wednesday, April 26 at 7:30 PM ET.

Ja Morant LeBron James
Memphis Grizzlies' Ja Morant guarding Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James during a regular season game. Getty Images/Justin Ford