LeBron James and the latest NBA player to try and become one of his agitators had pretty different games on Saturday night. The Los Angeles Lakers picked up a 111-101 win over the Memphis Grizzlies in L.A., giving them a 2-1 series lead over the 2-seed in the Western Conference behind 25 points, nine rebounds, five assists, one steal, and one block from their future Hall of Fame inductee.
As for Dillon Brooks, who has spent much of the series going after James and specifically called him out after Memphis won in Game 2, things could have gone better. Brooks had seven points on 3-for-13 shooting in 19 minutes of work before he was ejected for hitting James below the belt. After the game, Brooks decided against speaking to the media.
James, however, did talk to the assembled press in the aftermath of the game, and got asked whether he was trying to get some sort of point across to Brooks with his performance.
“I’ve been doing this too long, I’ve made enough statements,” James said, per ESPN. “No. We had an opportunity to come home and play well on our home floor, and we did that. No statement was made. We just wanted to play well and got a win. And we want to try to do that in Game 4, as well. But I don’t need to make statements.”
James did go up to Brooks prior to the game and the two exchanged some words. He didn’t reveal what the two said to one another, but James did tell the press that the nature of the exchange was purposeful — “There was nothing private about it,” James said. “It was very, very public. I like it that way.”