Lakers lose Game 5 in Memphis; head home with 3-2 series lead

The Lakers were unable to close out the series on the road in Memphis and will now head back to Los Angeles for Game 6.

It was a 116-99 win for the Grizzlies, who fought hard to keep their season alive. Their backcourt of Ja Morant and Desmond Bane led the way, with Jaren Jackson Jr. having a solid game as well.

Morant finished with 31/10/7, shooting 13-26 from the field and 2-5 from three. Bane led the game in scoring with 33 points, also coming down with ten rebounds and five assists. He shot 12-21 from the floor and 4-9 from behind the arc.

The Lakers had cut Memphis’s lead down to one in the 3rd quarter after trailing by 17 points. However, they could not keep the momentum as the Grizzlies went on a run.

Anthony Davis posted a dominant performance with 31 points and 19 rebounds, shooting an efficient 14-23. While Davis had a great bounce-back game, LeBron James struggled.

James had 15 points, ten rebounds, and five assists, shooting 5-17 from the field and 1-9 from downtown.

When Davis is off the floor, LA's lineups continue to be an issue. Darvin Ham has opted to go small-ball for a majority of the series, with James and Hachimura playing center when Davis is off the floor.

The Lakers' defense has been exposed in these lineups. Wenyen Gabriel was brought in as a backup center and stopped the bleeding a little bit. Ham must adjust to having Gabriel or Mo Bamba play the five when Davis rests.

Troy Brown Jr., Dennis Schroder, and Malik Beasley all struggled in their minutes off the bench. Brown Jr. had a plus-minus of -26, while Schroder was a -20 and Beasley was a -23. 

Ham may need to shorten the rotation in Game 6 or allow other players an opportunity, like Lonnie Walker IV.

Ham spoke after the game about considering extending minutes for players in Game 6 and said, “We’re gonna do what we need to do to get that game at home.”

The Lakers will take on the Grizzlies on Friday night in Los Angeles with another chance to close out the series. LA has won both of their home games in this series and will need to win a third to clinch the series on Friday night.

Look for James to bounce back as great players do and help the Lakers advance to the second round.

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