James finished with 22 points and 20 rebounds in the overtime win.
“Man, it’s just a testament to who he is and what he’s about,” Vanderbilt said about James. “He’s about winning and he did whatever he needed to do to win tonight and that was rebounding, getting 20 boards or getting the block or even a last-second box-out. He took two charges on Ja Morant. Those are just winning plays, and when your leader is kind of doing that, everybody just kind of follow suit and he set the tone for that. So it was great.”
James played 45 minutes in Game 4. The four-time MVP and four-time Finals MVP shot 8-of-18 from the field and recorded a plus-minus of +8. James is averaging 24.0 points, 13.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists against the Grizzlies and leads the playoffs in rebounds per game.
At 38 years old, James is the oldest player in NBA history (regular season or playoffs) with a 20-point, 20-rebound game. LeBron is also the first Laker to have a 20-20 game in the postseason since Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal had one back in 2004.
LeBron James on His 20-20 Game: ‘It’s Pretty Cool’
James is arguably the greatest player in NBA history. He’s accomplished so much in the league. However, even James thought it was “pretty cool” that he had a 20-20 game for the first time in his career in Game 4.
“When my teammates told me I had 20 and 20, I had no idea that I had 20 and 20,” James said. “This the first time I’ve done it in my career. I’ve done some pretty cool things in my career. I’ve never had 20 and 20 before. So it’s pretty cool I guess.”
James is looking to win his fifth championship and second title with the Lakers. The NBA’s all-time leading scorer has never lost a playoff series after taking a 3-1 lead. The Lakers will look to close out the Grizzlies in Game 5, which is on April 26 in Memphis.
Jarred Vanderbilt Was Huge in Game 4
Vanderbilt had an excellent Game 4. The lefty finished with 15 points and six rebounds in 19 minutes while shooting 6-of-9 from the floor and 2-of-5 from beyond the arc. Vanderbilt scored the first seven points for the Lakers.
“I think it was important for me to just be aggressive,” Vanderbilt said after the game. “Especially with how they playin’ me. So I think that kind of just set the tone. If they gonna do heavy shift off me, I gotta be aggressive and make a play or shoot the ball or whatever the case may be. So I think that kind of set the tone for how the game went.”
Vanderbilt, 24, is averaging 6.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.8 blocks versus the Grizzlies. The Lakers acquired the Kentucky product from the Utah Jazz at the February trade deadline. Vanderbilt has a team option worth $4.6 million for next season and the Lakers are expected to pick it up, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic.