Lakers News: LeBron James Vows To Be Better In Game 6 After Poor Performance In Game 5 Against Grizzlies
LeBron James, Lakers
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers failed in their first opportunity to close out their first-round series with the Memphis Grizzlies, dropping Game 5 on the road 116-99. While Anthony Davis put forth an impressive performance, LeBron James struggled mightily in the contest, as did much of the team.

The Lakers now return home for a Game 6 that might as well be a do-or-die Game 7 as they do not want to return to Memphis. When asked what the Lakers need to do to ensure that doesn’t happen, James listed multiple things, via Spectrum SportsNet:

“Not turn the ball over. Defensive rebound. Keep them out of transition,” LeBron said after the contest. “That’s where they’re very elite and when we’re in tune with those facets of the game we’re pretty good.”

Turnovers were an issue for both LeBron and Austin Reaves in Game 5 as the two combined for nine of the Lakers’ 13 miscues. That allows Memphis to get out on the break and Ja Morant is arguably the best transition player in the entire NBA. Likewise, rebounding has been an issue all series long with Memphis averaging 13 offensive rebounds per game, though the Lakers are also just under 12 offensive rebounds per game themselves.

But going into Friday’s crucial contest, the Lakers need their leaders to step up and have huge nights, which has yet to happen in the same game this series. But LeBron isn’t worried about that fact, only about improving on what he knows was an unacceptable Game 5 performance.

“We just haven’t put together two performances together,” James said. “But we still have put three team efforts together to be up 3-2, and that’s what’s most important. It’s not about what AD and myself are doing it’s about how we can win basketball games. Tonight I was shit and I’ll be better in Game 6.”

Many will be expecting a throwback performance from James on Friday night, especially after finishing with just 15 points on 5-of-17 shooting and making just 1-of-9 3-pointers. But as the Lakers’ superstar noted, it’s about the team as a whole and he knows everyone must be better to get this win.

“I don’t know. Obviously I gotta take a look at the film, but we all just gotta be better and that definitely starts with me,” LeBron added. “Tonight I was not very good at all. I think defensively I was pretty good, but offensively I was not really good. We all gotta do a better job of helping one another.”

Game 6 on Friday night will be the biggest game in the careers of many players on the Lakers and everyone needs to be locked in and focused on securing that win.

Austin Reaves says Lakers’ confidence still ‘really high’ after Game 5 loss

Despite a disappointing outcome in Game 5, the Lakers must toss that out as Game 6 approaches and the pressure will be on them to finish this series off in front of their home crowd. But even after the road loss, Reaves insists the Lakers are still confident about what they can do going home.

Reaves said that the Lakers’ confidence is ‘still really high’ after Wednesday’s loss, giving the Grizzlies credit for being a great team. The guard added that the team knew it wouldn’t be an easy job to eliminate Memphis and expected them to come out with extra fire at home.

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