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LeBron James first Lakers player with a 20-point, 20-rebound playoff game since Shaquille O’Neal

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LeBron James first Lakers player with a 20-point, 20-rebound playoff game since Shaquille O'Neal in 2004
USA Today Network

LeBron James is the first Los Angeles Lakers player to record 20 points and 20 rebounds in a playoff game since Shaquille O’Neal in 2004. In Monday’s 117-111 first-round overtime win against the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 4 of the 2023 NBA Playoffs, the 19-time All-Star notched 22 points, 20 boards, seven assists, and two blocks.

Plus, the Lakers forward shot 8-of-18 (44.4%) from the field, 1-of-7 (14.3%) outside the arc, and 5-of-7 (71.4%) at the foul line in 46 minutes of action. It was James’ third double-double outing this postseason. Los Angeles outscored the Grizzlies 13-7 in overtime to take a 3-1 series lead.

According to a couple of NBA betting sites, LeBron James and the Lakers have sixth-shortest odds to win the championship. Somes sportsbooks are giving the Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors, and Denver Nuggets better odds.

LeBron James’ 20 rebounds were a playoff career high as well. “I just try to be as great as I can be offensively, but more importantly on the defensive end,” the four-time MVP said. “That was the mindset tonight. I was able to make a couple of plays. … My teammates told me I had 20 and 20. It’s the first time I’ve done it in my career, so that’s pretty cool, I guess.”

James made the game-tying layup with 0.8 seconds left in regulation. The 20-year veteran also knocked down a clutch layup and-1 to put the Lakers up by five with 29.1 seconds to play in OT. At his age, it was easily one of James’ most impressive moments of his five-year tenure with Los Angeles.

Lakers superstar LeBron James (38 years, 115 days old) is the oldest player in NBA history to record a 20-point, 20-rebound game, including regular season and playoffs

“I’ve been a part of moments where you know you get a dagger play or a killshot,” the Lakers forward said. “I felt like that play — it wasn’t going to close the door, but there wasn’t much light at the end. I just let the emotion come out.”

Anthony Davis ended his performance with 12 points, 11 boards, two assists, two steals, and four blocks in 42 minutes played. “He just took over down the stretch,” Davis said of LeBron James. “Got us a bucket to get to overtime. … All our guys, it was a good team effort. This team is not going to go away.”

Moreover, LeBron James (38 years, 115 days old) is now the oldest player in NBA history to record at least 20 points and 20 rebounds in a single playoff game. Wilt Chamberlain (36 years, 262 days old) set the previous record on May 10, 1973.

Additionally, the Lakers entered Game 4 as a 4.5-point favorite at home. Los Angeles will have the opportunity to win the series in Game 5 this Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET inside FedExForum. However, ESPN’s Basketball Power Index shows Memphis with a 59.8% probability of winning.

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James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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