NBA legend Magic Johnson doesn’t see anyone beating LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers in the West if they keep playing the way they did in Game 1 against the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Lakers erased the Grizzlies’ homecourt advantage in the opener as they took down Memphis 128-112. While some would argue that the home team took a huge blow when Ja Morant got injured late in the fourth quarter, the fact remains that James and Co. were ahead for the most part and kept the game close throughout until the final minutes of the fourth quarter when they pulled away for good.
Memphis simply had no answer to LA’s balanced offense. Five players scored in double figures for the Lakers, four of which even breached the 20-point mark. D’Angelo Russell fell one point shy of the mark with 19 points.
Rui Hachimura led the way with 29 points off the bench, while Austin Reaves added 23. Anthony Davis and James had 22 and 21, respectively.
Johnson loved everything he saw from the Lakers in the contest, so much so that he couldn’t help but believe they have what it takes to dominate the West.
“If the Lakers continue to play like this, they can beat Memphis and anybody else in the West!” Johnson wrote on Twitter.
Magic Johnson also heaped praise on LeBron James and D’Angelo Russell, noting how they managed the game well and controlled the offense to perfection.
“LeBron’s incredible leadership was on display! Both he and D’Angelo Russell controlled the offense and had every player involved. He finished with a 21 point, 11 rebound double double,” Johnson added.
The challenge now for the Lakers is maintaining that level of play throughout the series, which is definitely a difficult task. Nonetheless, as Johnson said it, there’s plenty of reasons to be optimistic about LA’s chances moving forward.
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