The Los Angeles Lakers were determined to entertain their home crowd in Game 6, but they were never going to entertain the smoke the Memphis Grizzlies initially purported to want.

Instead, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, D’Angelo Russell, and the Lakers let their play — and their fans (including Jack Nicholson, in attendance for the first time since the 2021-22 opener) — make all the noise. The Lakers emphatically closed out the Grizzlies, 125-85, in their most impressive wire-to-wire performance of 2022-23.

“People are gonna talk,” said AD (16 points, 14 rebounds, 5 blocks), who shut the Grizzlies up all series with masterful defense. “We just go out and let our game talk and play basketball…If a guy’s constantly talking and you’re not saying nothing back, they’re going to eventually stop. I think that’s what happened.”

Of course, Davis is referring to Ja Morant, who said the Grizzlies would be “fine in the West”, and Dillon Brooks, who said he looked forward to bouncing the Lakers from the playoffs and then called LeBron “old.”

The Grizzlies’ offense was as silent as Arena was raucous on Friday. Morant shot 3-of-16. Brooks was 4-of-11 (relatively efficient for him in this series). Jaren Jackson Jr. was 3-of-12. And so on. Overall, Memphis shot 30.2% from the field. Los Angeles shot 53.8%. The Lakers outscored the Grizzlies by 10 in fast-break points (Darvin Ham’s pregame point of emphasis) and by 20 in the paint.

“I told them after the game, we set a standard for ourselves defensively on how we have to play and what we have to do on the defensive side of the ball,” said Ham. “Our defense fueled everything.”

“I have no worries in the world,” said Austin Reaves, despite a 1-for-7 night from 3. “The happiness of winning — that’s all that matters.”

When asked for one word to describe the Lakers, Reaves said: “Together.”

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After laying an egg in Game 5, partially due to fatigue, Ham’s club basically pitched a perfect game. Besides overwhelming defense, LeBron — who said he felt “excellent” when he woke up Friday morning and was inspired by watching his son, Bryce, play AAU ball before the game — was dialed in on D and cruised to 22/5/6, punctuated by a reverse dunk through the lane.

“We played on our toes, not on our heels,” Ham said. Talking to A and Bron after Game 5, you could see that the switch had come on already. We weren’t ourselves for that game. We really looked a little gassed. But we all talked through text and it was one of those things where you knew, you felt the vibe as soon as we got to the arena.”

Russell, a pending unrestricted free agent, drilled 5 of 7 shots in the first quarter and finished with a team-high 31 points on 12-of-17 shooting. It was his finest showing since being dealt back to the Lakers — and he did it with Kyrie Irving, a fellow UFA with aspirations of signing in Los Angeles, sitting courtside.

But Davis’ defense, once again, stole the show. He gobbled up everything and anything the Grizzlies threw up around the bucket. For the series, AD recorded 26 blocks and 8 steals. For LeBron, it was more of the usual from his teammate, who has been a defensive stalwart all season long.

“I think he was AD. He was AD. I think we all know, basketball guys know, competition knows, how dominant AD is defensively. He was AD. He was spectacular.”

“To be able to put on a Laker uniform and play for such a historical franchise, it’s always an honor,” said LeBron. “The connection, I think you gotta ask the Laker fans. I feel welcome. I’m happy to go out there and perform and showcase what I’m still able to do, 20 years in the game. Hopefully, I’ll just add to more memories that they’ve had for so long with so many great players and so many great teams. Hopefully, I can be a part of some of those memories.”

“It was definitely a Game 7 mentality for us,” James added. “We understood that we had an opportunity to play in front of our fans, and we wanted to try to end it tonight.”

The Lakers didn’t directly engage with the Grizzlies’ talk at any point in the series. LeBron repeatedly took the high road. However, they finally responded via song and dance once their mission was complete. The Lakers bench hit The Griddy (a go-to Ja move) in the final seconds, and “Whoop That Trick” (a Memphis victory anthem) blared postgame from the home locker room.

As Jack Nicholson’s Jake Gittes was famously reminded: Forget it, Grizzlies. This is Lakers Town.