LeBron James Puts Lakers on Notice Ahead of Game 3 vs. Grizzlies

LeBron James

Getty Lakers star LeBron James drives against Dillon Brooks.

After a disappointing Game 2 loss against the Memphis Grizzlies, LeBron James offered a warning to the Los Angeles Lakers as the team heads back to Crypto.com Arena in LA. James admitted that if the Lakers come out “comfortable” in Game 3 that the Grizzlies will retake home court advantage in the series.

“There’s always room to improve. It’s a 1-1 series. Both teams are tied. Both teams feel like they can win on each other’s floor,” James told reporters during his April 19, 2023 postgame press conference. “It gives us no comfort that we’re going home, and we shouldn’t feel comfortable going home with a one-on-one tie.

“Game 3 is the most important game of the series and if we’re not uncomfortable going into that game, they can very easily come into our own home court and take the series back.”

Los Angeles was able to snag Game 1 in Memphis, but James emphasized that the team should not be satisfied simply tying up the series. James posted 28 points, 12 rebounds and three assists as the Lakers came up short in Game 2.

Darvin Ham Called Out Lakers for ‘Lethargic’ & ‘Irresponsible’ Start in Game 2 vs. Grizzlies

The Lakers slow start against Memphis proved too costly to overcome in the second game of the series. The Grizzlies took a 15-point lead into halftime, and the Lakers’ late rally was too little, too late.

“Yeah, I think we came out a little bit lethargic in that first quarter, a little irresponsible with the ball, some unforced errors,” Ham told reporters on April 19. “I think in the first quarter, we had five turnovers that gave them in turn 10 points. But from that point on, I thought we clawed and we scratched and we fought. As the game wore on, the defense got better and better, and we just need to have that mentality at the start of the game.

“At the end of the day, obviously we wish we could have got this one as well, but that’s a helluva team over there. Really highly competitive ball club. I said it before the game, there’s a reason they are who they are with or without Ja [Morant].”

LeBron James Received Underwhelming Support From Anthony Davis & D’Angelo Russell in Game 2

It was a disappointing night for James’ co-star as Anthony Davis struggled to find his footing in Game 2. Davis posted 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists while shooting four-of-14 from the floor. The big man sustained a cut above his right eye, but Davis emphasized that he will suit up for Game 3. D’Angelo Russell also struggled shooting just two-of-11 in the second game of the series.

“The Lakers have a lot of players who need to justify their minutes on one of the floor,” CBS Sports’ Sam Quinn tweeted on April 19. “If D’Angelo Russell isn’t playing well on offense, you’ve gotta get him out of the game. His defense kills you. The same is true for Jarred Vanderbilt, but in reverse.”

Vegas appears to have faith that the Lakers will bounce back in their first home game of the series. Los Angeles opens as a 4.5-point favorite over Memphis for Game 3, per FanDuel. All eyes continue to be on Ja Morant’s status who was sidelined for Game 2 with a hand injury.