The Memphis Grizzlies did what they were supposed to do in holding down their homecourt in Game 5 against the Los Angeles Lakers. Once again, it was the backcourt pairing of Ja Morant and Desmond Bane leading the way as Memphis sent the series back to L.A. for a crucial Game 6 on Friday night.
Bane, in particular, has really found his rhythm after eclipsing 30 points for the second consecutive game, finishing with 33 points and 10 rebounds while also knocking down four 3-pointers. Now the pressure will really be on as the Lakers will do everything in their power to end the series at home, but Bane and the Grizzlies are confident that won’t be the case.
After the Grizzlies’ Game 5 win, Bane confidently told reporters that they will be back at the FedEx Forum for a Game 7 on Sunday, via ESPN’s Tim MacMahon:
Desmond Bane: “We’re going to be back for a Game 7 in front of the best fans in the NBA.”
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) April 27, 2023
While certain Grizzlies players have been avoiding their media responsibilities after losses, Bane has been one of them who has spoken regardless of the outcome, and his thoughts and feelings are to be expected. All of the Grizzlies should have that belief that they will win Game 6 and return to Memphis for Game 7.
And likewise, the Lakers should have the exact opposite thoughts and feelings and be ready to do whatever is necessary to ensure that isn’t the case. Anthony Davis has already vowed to play however many minutes is needed on Friday night while LeBron James has vowed to be better after a disappointing performance in Game 5.
Both the Lakers and Grizzlies know how important this upcoming game will be. The Grizzlies are fighting for their playoff lives while the last thing the Lakers want is to return to Memphis for a do-or-die Game 7 on the road. Both teams will throw everything at each other on Friday night and it will simply be a matter of who executes better. One thing that’s for sure is that the Lakers must find a way to keep Bane in check as another 30-point night is not good for their chances.
Lakers’ Anthony Davis prepared to play 48 minutes if necessary in Game 6
For the Lakers to be successful and end this series at home, they will need Davis to be a dominant force. He did just that in Game 5 but has yet to put together back-to-back strong performances in this series. But he is ready to do whatever it takes on Friday night.
The Lakers’ star big man said that he is prepared to play however many minutes is needed in Game 6 in order to get the win. Davis noted that he has been preparing all year long in order to be able to be out on the court for 48 minutes if necessary.
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