LeBron James Struggles in Game 5 as Lakers Lose to Grizzlies

ParallelDesk 12:32:56 PM, 27 April 2023

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The LA Lakers were left disappointed after their Game 5 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night. The Lakers lost 116-99, with LeBron James having a rough outing that contributed to their defeat. James only tallied 15 points, shooting 5-of-17, including 1-of-9 from three-point range. He also committed a team-high five turnovers. Meanwhile, Anthony Davis had a strong game as he tallied 31 points and 19 rebounds. Reflecting on his performance, James was brutally honest, saying, "Tonight, I was sh--. And I’ll be better in Game 6." The Lakers had gone 3-1 up before their Game 5 loss, thanks to the contributions of their supporting cast. Austin Reaves, D'Angelo Russell, and Rui Hachimura have all been crucial in those wins, despite James and Davis struggling on certain occasions. However, the Lakers need their superstars to get going consistently if they are to win the series and make a deep playoff run. James has been more decisive with his defense and playmaking, but he has been in a shooting slump, shooting only 45.7%, including 16.7% from the three-point range and 67.9% from the charity stripe. The Lakers' depth has overshadowed LeBron's shooting slump, but role players can only take a team so far. If James' shooting woes continue, the Lakers may continue to endure losses like they did in Game 5. However, the four-time NBA champion has the experience to overcome this slump and bounce back strong. LeBron James has been much better at attacking the rim than relying on his jump shooting, so that's an adjustment he may make to his game moving forward, especially in the closeout Game 6 contest. The Lakers will hope they can take care of business at home and avoid playing a Game 7 in Memphis, where the series will become a 50-50 contest due to the Grizzlies' home dominance. It remains to be seen if LeBron James can steer his team to victory in Game 6 and close out the series.

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