LeBron James and the Lakers got here out in entrance of this franchise’s first sellout playoff crowd in a decade and instantly produced one of many best first quarters in crew historical past.
Los Angeles leaped to a 35-9 lead amidst one raucous ovation after one other from followers anticipating a return to the Lakers’ custom of playoff success.
In any case these first-quarter fireworks, not even Ja Morant might carry the Memphis Grizzlies all the way in which again to forestall the Lakers from seizing Recreation 3.
Dillon Brooks was ejected 17 seconds into the second half after the Memphis agitator struck James within the groin whereas guarding him close to midcourt. Whereas the highest scorer in NBA historical past rolled on the court docket in ache, officers tossed Brooks after a quick video evaluate – and James stood up and led the Lakers to victory.
“I did not make a press release,” James stated. “I have been doing this too lengthy. I am not making any statements. We had the chance to come back dwelling and play nicely on our dwelling flooring, and we did that. No assertion was made. We simply wished to play nicely, and we bought a win. I need not make statements.”
With the Lakers’ sellout crowd booing his each transfer, Brooks had simply seven factors on 3-for-13 capturing earlier than his ejection. He drew the Lakers followers’ ire for his habits throughout and after Recreation 2, when the 27-year-old Brooks referred to as the 38-year-old James “previous” and belittled James’ skills.
Brooks declined to talk to reporters after the sport. Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins solely commented tersely on Brooks’ ejection: “Officers made a name.”
Recreation 4 is Monday evening in Los Angeles.