LeBron James stars in dramatic win for Lakers as Butler produces playoff record for Miami Heat

BASKETBALL LeBron James stars in dramatic win for Lakers as Butler produces playoff record for Miami Heat

Joel Omotto • 10:40 - 25.04.2023

King James was in inspired form as Los Angles Lakers claimed an overtime win against Memphis while Butler left Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Bucks on the brink of elimination

LeBron James starred for the Los Angeles Lakers as they took a 3-1 first-round playoff series lead against the Memphis Grizzlies following a dramatic 117-111 overtime win on Tuesday morning.

James notched the franchise's first 20-point, 20-rebound game since Shaquille O'Neal 19 years ago. He scored 22 points, including a layup, to force overtime and another late in the extra period.

The 38-year-old added a career-high 20 rebounds while Austin Reaves scored 23 points for the seventh-seeded Lakers, who have their first chance to eliminate the Grizzlies in Game 5 on Wednesday at Memphis.

D'Angelo Russell scored 17 points for the Lakers, sinking three key three-pointers in the fourth quarter before fouling out. Anthony Davis was held to 12 points for Los Angeles while dealing with hip discomfort after a second-quarter injury. However, he scored five points in overtime and wound up with 11 rebounds.

James made a layup with 0.8 seconds remaining in regulation and sealed the victory on another layup with 29.4 seconds left in overtime when he was fouled by Dillon Brooks. He missed the ensuing free throw but gave Los Angeles a 113-108 advantage.

Desmond Bane scored 36 points and Ja Morant added 19 for the second-seeded Grizzlies, who are 0-3 in the series with Morant on the floor. Memphis earned a 103-93 victory in Game 2 when Morant was out with a sore right hand.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Butler scored a Miami playoff record 56 points as the Heat put the NBA's top overall seed on the brink of early elimination.

The Heat roared back from 14 points down in the final quarter to stun the Milwaukee Bucks 119-114 on Monday night.

The 56 points were Butler's career high and tied him for fourth most points all-time in a playoff game alongside Charles Barkley, Wilt Chamberlin, and Michael Jordan.

Butler, who was on the receiving end of 'MVP' chants during his sensational performance, said postgame: “I don't know about MVP. I think that's Joel [Embiid], if I'm being brutally honest. For my team, to get this dub, in this way, in this atmosphere, for this city, it's huge.”