NBA: Lakers look for redemption at home in memorable playoffs
LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers will have a chance to wrap up their first-round playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies at home on Friday after squandering the opportunity on the road 116-99 to send the series to a sixth game at 3-2.
The four-time MVP James had a withering, expletive-tinged appraisal of his own performance on Wednesday, as he missed 12 of 17 shots -his worst playoff field-goal percentage (29.4%) since the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals.
“They were great,” said James. “We’ve got to do a better job of not letting them see as many cracks and as many seams as possible.”
Memphis guard Desmond Bane, who produced an exceptional 33 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, said his team would need “the right edge and the right road mentality” after going 0-4 away at the Lakers this season.
“I said it out there and I’ll say it again, we’re going to be back in Memphis for a Game Seven in front of the best fans in the NBA,” Bane said.
ONE STEP AWAY
Defending champions State Warriors also have a chance to advance after coming back from the brink of elimination against the Sacramento Kings, with a key 123-116 road win that puts the series at 3-2 in their favor.
Stephen Curry scored 31 points and assisted eight times to hand the Warriors their first road win in the series and return to San Francisco on Friday.
“Is one of the best feelings in the sense of figuring out a way of winning in a hostile environment, is hard to win on the road. You can feel the sense of accomplishment,” said Curry.
EASTERN CONFERENCE FRENZY
The postseason has dished out plenty of twists and turns so far with the eighth seeds Miami Heat executing one of the biggest upsets in NBA playoff history over Eastern Conference top seeds Milwaukee Bucks and the New York Knicks securing their first playoff series win in a decade
The Bucks, who became the sixth number one team to lose to an eighth in a best-of-seven series in NBA history, were hampered by the back injury that their leader Giannis Antetokounmpo suffered during the first game of the series and that sidelined him for the second and third games.
“It’s not a failure, it’s steps to success,” Antetokounmpo said after the game in which he scored 38 points and 20 rebounds.
“Michael Jordan played 15 years, won six championships. The other nine years was a failure? There’s no failure in sports.”