Lakers’ Playoff Pursuit: LeBron James Turns Back Time, Secures Vital Victory with Reverse Slam

The Los Angeles Lakers kept their dreams of capturing the Western Conference’s No. 8 seed alive on Friday night with a dramatic 123-120 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies, which LeBron James clinched with a couple of clutch baskets, including a breathtaking reverse slam in the last seconds.

Lakers Trolled by NBA Fans for Needing Dominant LeBron, Davis Games to Beat  Grizzlies | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors | Bleacher Report

The Lakers were leading by three points with 15 seconds left, and the Grizzlies had possession of the ball. GG Jackson opted to go to the hoop and threw up a crazy shot that missed the rim. 

The loose ball was knocked about a few times before being pushed out to midcourt, where James sprints after it. While he did not win the race, he was right there to intercept Jack White’s save attempt with an open court in front of him. From there, he planned to stage a show.

“I felt like he was gonna have to try to save it to his teammate, so I saw his teammate in my side-view mirror, so I just tried to jump that pass cause he was trying to save it on the sideline,” James recalled after the game. “Pretty good read, and I was able to finish it off.”

Lakers vs Grizzlies Final Score: Lakers survive scare for important win -  Silver Screen and Roll

James scored the final six points for the Lakers, including the slam, after the Grizzlies briefly led with a minute remaining. Overall, he finished with 37 points, nine rebounds, and five assists in 41 minutes, shooting 13 of 20 from the field. 

This was James’ fourth game of at least 35 points since turning 39 earlier this season. In NBA history, only Michael Jordan (six) has played more such games aged 39 or older.

The Lakers have now won seven of their last ten games, bringing their season record to 46-35, and with all results completed on Friday, they control their destiny as the Western Conference’s No. 8 seed.

LeBron James scores 37, Anthony Davis finishes with 36 as the Lakers beat  Grizzlies 123-120 | AP News

 If they beat the New Orleans Pelicans in the season’s final game on Sunday, they would finish eighth and avoid the dreaded win-or-go-home matchup between No. 9 and No. 10.

If the Lakers lose, they could finish eighth, ninth, or tenth, depending on the other results. They are one game ahead of the Sacramento Kings and the Golden State Warriors, although both have the season tiebreaker over the Lakers. 

The Warriors face the Utah Jazz, while the Kings play at home against the Portland Trail Blazers — both winnable games that increase pressure on the Lakers.

Lakers' playoff seed chase: LeBron James turns back the clock again, seals  crucial win with reverse slam - CBSSports.com

The Lakers, Warriors, and Kings will all tip off at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday. While everyone else will be watching all three games, James is focused entirely on New Orleans.

“I actually won’t [do any scoreboard watching],” he remarked. “Because, in the end, the games will define what happens. There’s no need for me to be watching the scoreboard. It is what it is; the season’s final game is on Sunday, so we’ll focus on New Orleans and go from there.”

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