The Lakers will try again to close out the Grizzlies in Los Angeles, where Memphis hasn’t won this season. The Grizzlies are 2-1 in Game 6s on the road and trying to force just the third Game 7 in franchise history. This franchise has won just four games facing elimination in 13 playoff appearances ever.

“Tonight, I was (expletive), I’ll be better in Game 6,” James said following his 5-for-17 performance that included going 1 of 9 on 3-pointers for 15 points in Wednesday’s 116-99 loss.

If the Warriors and Lakers each win Friday, Los Angeles will come to the Bay Area for Game 1 of the next round — but the Kings are counting on one more chance to Light the Beam at Golden 1 Center.

“We’ve been in this situation all year,” Sacramento’s Malik Monk said Thursday. “Lose a couple, they think we’re down then come back and win a couple in a row, so just another task in front of us.”


Los Angeles leads 3-2, Game 6, 10:30 p.m. EDT, ESPN

— NEED TO KNOW: The Lakers remain on the verge of reaching the second round for the first time since 2020, when they won the franchise’s 17th championship in the Orlando bubble. These Lakers also are 13-4 coming into this game.

— KEEP AN EYE ON: James. The NBA’s all-time leading scorer is 38, and now this series has turned into a marathon every other night with travel between Tennessee and California on the off day. He played 45 minutes in Game 4’s overtime win for the Lakers, then was the first out in Game 5’s loss after shooting 5 of 17.

— INJURY WATCH: Lakers center Anthony Davis has dealt with a sore right hip that had him using a heating pad in Game 4. He stayed on the floor as play went the other way in the fourth quarter Wednesday night. Davis got lucky with a foul called on Austin Reaves to give him time to get up and walk down while rubbing his low back. Luke Kennard, the NBA’s top 3-point shooter at 49.4%, suffered a shoulder stinger that sent him to the locker room. With Kennard on the court for just 17:39, Memphis outscored the Lakers by 26.

— PRESSURE IS ON: The Grizzlies. The NBA’s second-youngest team finally got the best performance from its three stars in the same game with Desmond Bane, Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. each posting double-doubles. For Bane, it was his first in the playoffs of his young career. For Jackson, it was his first in this series. Now they have to prove they can do it again to push this series to a deciding Game 7 back in Memphis, where the Grizzlies posted the NBA’s best home record at 35-6 this season.