Morant, Grizzlies Stave Off Elimination, Beat Lakers 116-99 - Eastern Mirror
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Morant, Grizzlies stave off elimination, beat Lakers 116-99

By AP Updated: Apr 27, 2023 10:02 pm

Memphis (Tenn.): The Grizzlies’ stars finally played well together in the same game, and Desmond Bane already is planning to be back for another tipoff Sunday in Memphis.

Even with Game 6 looming Friday night in Los Angeles, where the Grizzlies have yet to win this season or in this series.

Bane had 33 points and 10 rebounds, two-time All-Star Ja Morant added 31 points and 10 boards, and the Grizzlies staved off elimination Wednesday night, beating the Lakers 116-99 to force their first-round Western Conference series back to Los Angeles.

Jaren Jackson Jr., the NBA Defensive Player of the Year, had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who improved to 5-0 in Game 5s played in Memphis and cut the seventh-seeded Lakers’ series lead to 3-2. Memphis earned a second straight No. 2 seed by posting the NBA’s best home record at 35-6  Game 6 is Friday night in Los Angeles.

LeBron James started 1 of 7 from the field but finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds, a modest follow-up after the 38-year-old played 45 minutes in Monday night’s overtime win in Los Angeles and became the oldest player in NBA history to posted at least 20 points and 20 rebounds in his 270th playoff game.

Anthony Davis led the Lakers with 31 points and 19 rebounds. Austin Reaves had 17 points and D’Angelo Russell scored 11. Davis stayed on the court for a few seconds after a layup with 6:01 left that pulled the Lakers within 106–91. When he got up, Davis grabbed onto his back as he walked down the court.

The Lakers tried to rally with a 20-7 run in the fourth. They couldn’t get closer than 12, the last on a putback by Davis with 2:52 left. Memphis answered with eight straight that got fans chanting “Whoop That Trick” with about 90 seconds left.

 “That run at the end of the third, kind of got away from us,” said Davis, who promised he’ll be ready to play 48 minutes if needed in Game 6.

Memphis led only 23-20 when Jenkins took out Dillon Brooks, known more for calling James old and missing shots than his defense in this series. The Grizzlies seized control, finishing on a 15-4 run capped by Bane’s 3 just before the quarter expired for a 38-24 lead.

The Grizzlies led by as much as 17 in the second with Morant scoring 10, including drawing a foul on James for a three-point play. Memphis led 61-52 at halftime.

Russell scored the first eight of the third for the Lakers to quickly turn it into a one-point game. James, who had nine in the quarter, hit a pair of free throws that pulled Los Angeles within 75-74 with 4:36 left.

Memphis responded with a 26-2 run that lasted through the start of the fourth. Morant had 11 in the third and finished the quarter with back-to-back buckets. His final drive put the Grizzlies up 94-76 going into the fourth.

Bane capped the spurt with a three-point play for a 101-76 lead the Lakers couldn’t overcome.

By AP Updated: Apr 27, 2023 10:02:02 pm
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