A close 94-92 win in Memphis helps the Los Angeles Lakers cap-off an unbeaten 4-0 road trip. The four wins see them improve to a Conference-best record of 6-2, just a half-game back of Philadelphia 76ers' league-best 6-1 record.
Given the strange and unique nature of the 2020-21 season, the Lakers have played out this road trip only against two opponents in the San Antonio Spurs and the Memphis Grizzlies.
However, a trademark of this Lakers' trip has been the late-game heroics of LeBron James. In every single game, he's played a major role in crunch time. Over the last four games, he ranks second in the league in fourth-quarter points with an average of 9.0 and leads the league in plus-minus with a +34.
In their most recent win at Memphis, the second of two, he was responsible for 18 of the team's 27 fourth-quarter points and 12 of the final 14. He did a little bit of everything, from fadeaways to bounce-pass dimes.
👑 LeBron 👑 pic.twitter.com/vQyrLS8H22- Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) January 6, 2021
Bron and AD taking care of business 👑〰 pic.twitter.com/EyEy8zaNpG- Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 6, 2021
He finished the game with 27 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists on 11-of-20 shooting with a plus-minus of +20 in his 34 minutes of action. Anthony Davis was the other big contributor, as he stuffed the stat sheet with 26 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals, and three blocks.
For the Grizzlies, who were playing their fourth game without reigning Rookie of the Year Ja Morant, five players finished in double figures but they never stood a chance against the firepower of the Lakers.
A couple of days earlier, again in Memphis, James scored 13 of his 22 points in the final period in a 14-point win.
2⃣3⃣ 4th-quarter points for @KingJames over the @Lakers back-to-back wins in Memphis! #LakeShow pic.twitter.com/CMvz7nRqus- NBA (@NBA) January 6, 2021
In the second of two wins in San Antonio, on New Year's Day,
Here's a look at LeBron's impact in the fourth quarters of this road trip:
|Opponent||Final Result||Team's 4th Q PTS||LeBron's contribution||%|
|San Antonio||W, 121-107||29||11||37.9|
|San Antonio||W, 109-103||28||19||67.9|
Barring the first game, his 'worst' fourth quarter of the trip, where he scored four of the team's final 11 points, take a look at those percentages in the final column.
Through these four games, the King is averaging 25.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 8.3 assists. His plus-minus through these four games is a combined +56, an average of 14, while the team's margin of victory is around 9.0.
Only the best players in the league have numbers like that, so safe to say that James, in his 18th season, is still up there.
The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.