LeBron James hailed the Los Angeles Lakers as a resilient team after the Western Conference leaders pulled out a 109-108 road win over the Memphis Grizzlies.
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James and the Lakers knew they would be tired playing their second game in as many nights. Experience made the difference against the young and rested Memphis Grizzlies.
James scored on a driving lay-up with 1:30 left to put Los Angeles ahead for good as the Lakers held off Grizzlies to record their seventh straight victory.
"We just kept our composure," James said. "That's what we do. We are a very resilient team."
The Grizzlies had a final chance with the ball and 1.3 seconds left. Jaren Jackson Jr went sprawling trying to corral Kyle Anderson's inbounds pass.
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James finished with 30 points. Anthony Davis added 22, Rajon Rondo had 14, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 12 and Dwight Howard had 10.
Ja Morant led Memphis with 26 points. Jae Crowder added 21, Jackson finished with 20, Dillon Brooks had 12 and Anderson scored 10.
The Lakers showed the effects of winning in Oklahoma City on Friday night. James made clear on social media he had trouble getting a nap with their hotel across the street from the FedExForum.
"We're lucky to get out of here with a win. Credit to the Grizzlies for coming out strong," said Lakers coach Frank Vogel. "Their young guys really came after us, in the first quarter in particular. Morant and Jackson are special talents and they put us in a hole."
James' seven-game streak with 10 or more assists, the longest in his career, ended as he contributed four helpers in the win. It was the longest such streak for the Lakers since Magic Johnson had 10 straight in 1990-91.
James also had six rebounds to pass 9,000 for his career. He also had two steals, giving him 1,958 to move past Derek Harper for 14th place on the all-time list. He explained why he hass been so successful taking the ball away.
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"Anticipation, being in the right place at the right time, being healthy for the majority of my career so far, and then also being around some really good defensive coaches," James said.