Lakers use ‘Game 7 mentality,’ oust Grizzlies in 40-point win

LeBron James led the Los Angeles Lakers to a dominant 125-85 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 6 to win their first-round series 4-2. James made seven of his first eight shots and finished with 22 points, six assists, and five rebounds. He also tied Derek Fisher’s record for the most playoff series wins ever. Lakers point guard D’Angelo Russell was also instrumental with a game-high 31 points on 12-for-17 shooting, setting a new career playoff high in scoring. The Lakers shot 53.8% from the field while holding Memphis to 30.2%.

The Lakers set a standard for themselves defensively, according to coach Darvin Ham, and the team played with “a Game 7 mentality.” They succeeded in ending the series in front of their home crowd, something they had not done since 2012. With only nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, both teams pulled their starters, with the Lakers up by 32 points. Davis finished with 16 points, 14 rebounds, and five blocks.

The Lakers await the winner of Game 7 between the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors on Sunday to find out their second-round opponent. The Lakers became the first No. 7 seed to pull off an opening-round upset since the San Antonio Spurs in 2010 and just the sixth team ever to accomplish the feat. James and Davis improved to 5-0 in a playoff series where they are both healthy.

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