Lakers’ LeBron James goes chest-to-chest with Ja Morant after game-sealing dunk

LeBron James had a bit of fun with Ja Morant following his game-sealing dunk in the Lakers’ 123-120 win over the Grizzlies.

LeBron James was questionable ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers’ Friday night clash against the Memphis Grizzlies due to wear and tear on his ankle. But James suited up in the end, and looked like his usual self in the process. In a 123-120 win for the Lakers, James finished with 37 points, two of which came in thunderous fashion at the end of the game.

With the Lakers up by just three, 121-118, with 10 seconds to go, the Grizzlies had the ball with a chance to tie the game. James, however, shut that down in a resounding manner. James recovered a loose ball and extended the Lakers’ lead to an insurmountable five points with five seconds to go with his signature reverse jam.

Clearly enjoying himself, James paused for a little flex in front of the Grizzlies bench. The Lakers star was then met by Ja Morant, who, with a little grin on his face, decided to playfully shove James as the King styled in front of them.

The Lakers definitely would have preferred to seal the game early against a very depleted Grizzlies team. But there are far worse ways to end the game, and it’s a treat to see LeBron James not just go up for an exhilarating dunk at age 39, but also interact in this playful manner with Ja Morant, another exciting athlete in his own right.

LeBron James and the Lakers nab the eighth spot… for now

The Lakers’ Friday night tussle against the Grizzlies was ever-so-important because it at least puts them in a position to escape the 9/10 side of the play-in tournament bracket. They certainly recognized the urgency of the situation; LeBron James played in 41 minutes despite being questionable heading into the night, while Anthony Davis logged 43 after missing the Lakers’ previous contest.

There is still a chance, however, that the Lakers end up in a position where they need to win two games just to make it to the playoffs as the eight-seed. LA loses out via tie-breaker rules in the event that they finish with the same record as their closest seeding competitors, the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings. They went a combined 1-7 against both teams, which now makes the final game of the regular season must-win.

Alas, there’s a chance that the Lakers experience playoff intensity earlier than the start of the play-in tournament in Game 82, as they’ll be facing the New Orleans Pelicans. If the Phoenix Suns win Friday night, the Pelicans still don’t have the six-seed locked up. In fact, if the Pelicans lose to the Warriors, the Suns will surpass them in the standings for the time being by virtue of winning the season series.

It’ll be up to LeBron James and Anthony Davis to handle business against the Pelicans, which they did earlier in the season when they demolished them in the semifinal round of the in-season tournament. The Lakers will be hoping then that other results fall in their favor.

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