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Lakers get run off the floor by Grizzlies in second half

A third-quarter Memphis run was too much for the Lakers to overcome as the Grizzlies avoided elimination and forced a Game 6 on Friday.

Los Angeles Lakers v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Five Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

The Lakers couldn’t get the job done on the road, losing Game 5 to the Memphis Grizzlies, 116-99. Memphis was in control for most of the game and secured the victory by going on a 17-2 run in the third, a run that started when head coach Darvin Ham benched Anthony Davis at the 4:04 mark with the Lakers down by just a single point.

Ja Morant had an answer for every Lakers run, scoring 31 points. Desmond Bane was big as well, scoring a team-high 33 himself and shooting 44% from three.

The Lakers will take have another chance to close out Memphis on Friday when Game 6 takes place in Los Angeles.

Memphis took control immediately, playing with the sense of urgency and level of perfection you’d expect from a team facing elimination, going 4-4 from the field to start the game. L.A. kept up with this intensity throughout the opening minutes thanks to a strong start from Anthony Davis, who looked like his hip injury was a non-issue. He had 11 points in the first quarter and ended the night with 31 points and 19 rebounds.

The Lakers were down by just four, but after a 10-0 run from Memphis to close out the quarter the purple and gold were down by two touchdowns.

However, after finishing the second quarter on a 13-5 run of their own, the Lakers trimmed what had grown to be a 17-point deficit down to nine, giving them a puncher’s chance to win the game in the second half.

But if they wanted to do that, the Lakers needed to get off to a good start to the second half, one that D’Angelo Russell was happy to provide. Russell was once again a flamethrower from three, hitting back-to-back treys as part of a 10-0 run to open the frame, forcing Memphis to take an early timeout. And just like that, it was a one-point game.

The quarter then turned into a back-and-forth affair as the Lakers cut the lead multiple times down to one, but every time they did, Ja Morant would make a crucial basket to extend the advantage for Memphis. The game officially turned back in Memphis’ favor when Davis sat with 4:04 left in the third. The Grizzlies went on a 7-0 run and Davis had to return to try and mitigate disaster, but it was too late. Memphis continued to pile on and were up 18 entering the fourth.

The Grizzlies continued to apply pressure, scoring seven straight to start the final frame as Davis once again watched from the bench. L.A. brought Davis back in and did go on a short run, but James was subbed out for Lonnie Walker IV with over four minutes left, and Ham officially waived the white flag when the bench was cleared with just under two minutes remaining.

Key Takeaways

Closing teams out is hard. The Memphis Grizzlies have talent, and with desperation plus homecourt advantage, they got another victory and extended the series to a Game 6. Now L.A. has to make adjustments and take care of business at home.

A Game 7 on the road is not the position they want to be in and to avoid that, they’ll need to fine-tune when Davis gets his rest, do a better job containing Ja and likely shorten (or eliminate) the playing time for a struggling Malik Beasley.

You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.

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