LOS ANGELES – It’s not over but, if history is any indication, it might as well be.
The Grizzlies are back in Memphis and facing some seriously long odds in their series against the Lakers, down 3-1 as they look to do something only 13 other NBA teams have ever done.
Rally to win a playoff series when trailing three games to one.
The Grizzlies deserved better Monday night in L.A.
After another slow start, Ja Morant and Desmond Bane put the Grizzlies in position to win back home court advantage. Morant’’s dunk to close the third gave Memphis the momentum.
Grizzlies up seven with a little over five to play when late in the game, it was this franchise’s three best players teaming up for what looked to be this series signature moment.
Jaren Jackson Jr. with the block.
Morant went behind the back to Bane to put the Grizzlies up two in the waning seconds. Bane finished the night with 36.
But again, the Grizz couldn’t close. LeBron James did.
First with the lay-up to send the game to overtime. Then in OT, James blows past Dillon Brooks for the bucket and the bonus.
Instead of the series being tied 2-2, the Grizzlies return home, facing the longest of odds and elimination.
“The playoffs is obviously a great experience for us because all the things that you talk about all season long, through training camp and the things you try to improve at, really show,” said Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane. “When the games are this tight and each possession matters, those things don’t hide. Coach has always said we will or we won’t.”
“We’re just not making enough shots. I mean, you’re shooting 39%. At one point, I think we’re in the low thirties. In the playoffs, it’s really hard to win. Puts a lot of pressure on your defense,” said Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins. “Again, I thought our defense, for the most part, did a good job. We just got to find a way to play better on offense.”
A loss that led to high praise from Lakers coach Darvin Ham.
“Shout out to the Memphis Grizzlies man. A hell of a ball club. Hell of a ball club. We knew we were going to have our hands full with those guys facing the a deficit.”
That deficit is 3-1 with Wednesday night’s Game 5 back at FedExForum.
The Grizzlies must win three games in five days to keep their season alive.