The win is the team’s seventh in a row and improves their NBA-best record to 14-2. James once again led the Lakers in scoring as he finished the night with 30 points to go along with six rebounds and four assists while Anthony Davis scored 22 and added an impressive three steals and five blocks.
Los Angeles looked flat to start the game as they were playing on the second end of a back-to-back situation and they allowed Memphis to get going from beyond the arc en route to a double-digit lead. The Grizzlies shot the ball well all night, hitting 14 of their 30 three-point attempts, but the Lakers made runs when they needed to.
Even though the Lakers will happily take the win, head coach Frank Vogel seemed displeased with the officiating as James did not earn a single trip to the free throw line, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“It’s frustrating. LeBron’s going to the basket all night long, he took nine threes, but he’s in the paint all night long. Look, it’s just something that we’ll go through the proper channels and talk to the league office about it but certainly when you guys are attacking the basket the way he is and gets zero free throw attempts, it’s something that can be frustrating. But, we gotta look past that. Like everything, we’ll deal with the proper channels and go through the league about that.”
There were several instances throughout the game where James appeared to get hit on his way to the rim but no whistle was blown, visibly frustrating him and Vogel. The 34-year-old always seems to manage to draw contact whenever he gets to the rim, but it was truly unusual to see no calls go his way whenever he got downhill.
Even without the free throw line to help him, James was still effective picking his spots on offense and keeping the team afloat with some of his jumpers and drives to the paint. The Grizzlies did a good job at certain points of clogging the paint and forcing the Lakers to look elsewhere on offense, but Los Angeles did just enough to eke out the win.