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Darvin Ham says ‘untimely’ rebounds, defensive possessions led to third quarter Grizzlies run

The deciding run in the third quarter of Wednesday’s Lakers-Grizzlies Game 5 came as a result of untimely offensive rebounds, according to Darvin Ham.

NBA: Playoffs-Los Angeles Lakers at Memphis Grizzlies Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

As frustrating, and perhaps possibly predictable, the loss was for the Lakers against the Grizzlies in Game 5 on Wednesday, it was a preventable one given how things played out.

After a disappointing first half, the Lakers came out strong in the third quarter and got themselves back into the contest right out of the gate with an 8-0 run by D’Angelo Russell. The deficit stayed manageable until Anthony Davis went to the bench with 4:10 left in the third and the Lakers down 75-74.

By the time the quarter ended, the Grizzlies had gone on a 19-2 run to blow the game wide open. The lead peaked at 101-76, in total a 26-2 run that ended any doubt of the final result. A number of things played into that run, but Darvin Ham pointed to offensive rebounds the Lakers allowed as one of the primary ones.

“We had some untimely possessions where we didn’t finish with a rebound,” Ham said. “They were able to get one, maybe two offensive rebounds in that stretch. A team like that, they thrive off those hustle plays, the 50-50 balls. They have enough scoring output where, if you give them second and third chances at it, they’re going to make you pay. I just thought some of those unfortunate defensive possessions where we couldn’t finish with a rebound hurt us.

“But, overall, our guys came out tonight to compete and, again, we didn’t make enough shots. Some untimely turnovers and some untimely lack of defensive rebounding.”

The Grizzlies had multiple second-chance buckets in that span, including a sequence in which both Luke Kennard and Xavier Tillman grabbed offensive rebounds before a Desmond Bane 3-pointer that gave the Grizzlies a 13-point lead and a ton of energy from the home crowd.

Of course, the whole run began after AD went to the bench. The Lakers have struggled in the minutes he’s sat this series and that likely played a role in Memphis’ change in aggression to start that run.

Ham did try something new on Wednesday, giving some spot minutes to Wenyen Gabriel for the first time this season. Gabriel helped the Lakers tread water without Davis, a vast improvement over their typical hemorrhaging of points.

“Wenyen, you throw him out there, even if it’s in shorts, he’s always one that brings great energy to the game, as he did tonight when we threw him out there,” Ham said. “We’ll go back to the drawing board and look at the film and see what we come up with.”

Davis has already said he’s open to play as many minutes as necessary in Game 6. In the minutes he sits, Gabriel has earned a chance. What can’t continue to happen is lineups with only LeBron James and Rui Hachimura as the nominal bigs, or it’ll lead to more of those costly untimely rebounds and defensive possessions.

You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.

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