Desmond Bane scored 33 points and grabbed ten rebounds. Ja Morant added 31 points and ten boards as the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 116-99 on Wednesday night to stave off elimination and send their first-round Western Conference series back to Los Angeles. Ja Morant also had 31 points and ten boards.
Jaren Jackson Jr., the NBA Defensive Player of the Year, scored 18 points and ten rebounds for the Grizzlies, who won their fifth consecutive game in Memphis to move to 5-0 in Game 5s and reduce the Lakers’ series lead to 3-2. By compiling the best record in the NBA at home (35-6), Memphis secured a second consecutive No. 2 seed.
Game 6 will take place on Friday night in Los Angeles.
After playing 45 minutes in Monday night’s overtime win in Los Angeles and becoming the oldest player in NBA history to post at least 20 points and 20 rebounds in his 270th playoff game, LeBron James played 45 minutes again tonight. He finished with 15 points and ten rebounds. This was a modest follow-up after the 38-year-old played 45 minutes in Monday night’s win and became the oldest player in NBA history to do so in his 270th playoff game.
Anthony Davis finished with 31 points and 19 rebounds to lead the Lakers. Austin Reaves finished with 17 points, while D’Angelo Russell finished with 11. Davis remained on the floor for a few seconds after making a basket with 6:01 remaining, bringing the Lakers to within 106-91 of the Warriors. Davis reached behind him as he stood up and started down the floor, grabbing at his back.
The Lakers attempted to mount a comeback by going on a run in the fourth that resulted in a score of 20-7. They could not pull any closer than 12, and Davis’ putback with 2:52 remaining in the game was the last time they were within 12. Around 90 seconds were left on the clock when Memphis responded by scoring eight points in a row, prompting supporters to scream, “Whoop, That Trick.”
Dillon Brooks, known more for calling James old and missing shots than for his defense in this game, was benched by Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins with just a 23-20 lead for the Tigers. The Grizzlies took charge of the game and finished the quarter on a 15-4 run, which was capped off by a three-point shot from Bane just as the clock ran out, giving them a 38-24 advantage.
The Grizzlies led by as many as 17 points in the second quarter, with Morant scoring 10. He also drew a foul on James, which he converted into a three-point play. At the break, Memphis had a lead of 61–52.
As Russell scored eight points to start the third quarter for the Lakers, he suddenly made the game more competitive. James, who had nine in the third quarter, sank free throws with 4:36 remaining, bringing Los Angeles within 75-74 of their opponent.
A run by Memphis of 26 points to 2 gave them control of the game, which continued until the beginning of the fourth. Morant closed the third quarter with two consecutive field goals, giving him 11 points. The Grizzlies took a 94-76 lead into the fourth quarter thanks to his last drive of the game.
Bane finished off the run with a three-point play to give his team a lead of 101-74.
The Lakers suffered their fifth defeat in their last 17 games, making it the rarest occurrence. They entered the game having outscored Memphis’ bench 119-79, with 72 of those points coming from Rui Hachimura. Nevertheless, the forward was called for two quick fouls early on. Thus, he only played for five minutes in the first half. Ultimately, he ended with nine points, and the reserves tied with 18 points each.
Grizzlies: They must show they can win in Los Angeles to advance to the third Game 7 in the franchise’s history and the first since 2014. They dropped their lone game in the regular season in Los Angeles and then went on to lose Games 3 and 4, despite the fact that the Grizzlies only fell by six points in overtime on Monday night. Jackson made two successful blocks.