LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers logged his 88th career playoff game with at least 25 points and 10 rebounds in Wednesday night’s 103-93 first-round loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 2 of the 2023 NBA Playoffs, tying Shaquille O’Neal for the most in NBA history.
James also recorded his 103rd career playoff game with at least 20 points and 10 boards, tying Tim Duncan for the fourth-most all time. Only O’Neal, Karl Malone, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have more such games. The Lakers scored a season-low 93 points as the Grizzlies evened up the series 1-1.
According to a few NBA betting sites, LeBron James and the Lakers have sixth-shortest odds to win the championship. Some sportsbooks are giving the Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets better odds.
LeBron James has recorded his 103rd career playoff game with 20 points and 10 rebounds, tying Tim Duncan for 4th-most all-time.
Only Shaquille O’Neal, Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have more such games. pic.twitter.com/HGhoR7nBcq
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 20, 2023
LeBron James ended his Game 2 outing with 28 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block in 39 minutes of action. The Lakers forward shot 12-of-23 (52.2%) from the floor and drained a 3-pointer. The 19-time All-Star is 24-0 in best-of-7 series when his team secures a 2-0 lead.
However, the Lakers are now aiming to bounce back from their defeat. L.A. has won eight straight in series tied 1-1, tied with Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls (1989-95) for the longest streak in NBA history. Their last such loss came in the 2004 NBA Finals against the Detroit Pistons.
LeBron James records 103rd career playoff game with at least 20 points and 10 boards, tying Tim Duncan for the fourth-most in NBA history
More importantly, the Lakers still struggled against Memphis despite the Grizzlies playing without Ja Morant due to a bruised right-hand injury. Tyus Jones replaced Morant as a starter. Jones finished his performance with 10 points, six rebounds, eight assists, and one steal in 36 minutes played.
“They’re just as dangerous a team when Tyus is starting,” LeBron James said. “They don’t miss a beat, and we knew that. No matter if Ja’s in the game. If Ja’s starting, dangerous. If Tyus is starting, dangerous. It didn’t change our approach.”
Five of the Lakers’ 13 turnovers were committed in the first quarter. Memphis scored nine points off turnovers to go on a 22-8 run. The Grizzlies outscored L.A. 30-19 in the opening quarter and led 59-44 at halftime.
LeBron James draws up a play for himself during the timeout and it works PERFECTLY 🤯pic.twitter.com/MRTtrAgzbG
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) April 20, 2023
It was not a game the Lakers could afford to lose, especially with Morant on the bench. Fortunately for Lakers fans, the next two games in this first-round series are at Crypto.com Arena.
L.A. plays Memphis this Saturday, April 22 in Game 3 at 10 p.m. ET. Of course, Game 4 is scheduled for Monday, April 24 at the same time. Will the Lakers defeat Memphis if LeBron James stays healthy?