Lakers approaching Game 6 vs. Warriors same as Grizzlies series finale

LeBron, Lakers approaching Game 6 vs. Dubs same as Grizzlies originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Two weeks ago, the Los Angeles Lakers were presented with two options: Defeat the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 6 of their first-round NBA playoff series or head back to Memphis for Game 7.

They chose the former, and a 125-85 blowout win against Ja Morant and Co. advanced Los Angeles to the Western Conference semifinals against the Warriors where, on Friday night at Arena, the Lakers will face that same opportunity against the defending champions.

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Lakers star LeBron James acknowledged that every game is different, even when you’re facing the same team. But when asked if the Lakers are approaching the potential closeout Game 6 against Golden State with the same mindset they had against Memphis, he responded: “Yeah, it’s the same. It’s the same.”

“I mean, every moment is its own challenge and is its own game and is its own opportunity to see what you’re made of, and we can’t base last series on to this series,” Lakers star LeBron James told reporters earlier this week. “This series is different. The opponent is different. The challenges is different.

“Friday is another opportunity for us to see where we are, to see what we’re made of, and to go out there with I guess the grit and the fight that we’ve had since we came together after the All-Star break, very resilient team, and we respond well to adversity, and we look forward to that, to getting an opportunity to play again on Friday.”

With a three-games-to-one lead in the best-of-seven series, James and the Lakers had a chance to eliminate the Warriors in Game 5 on Wednesday at Chase Center. The Warriors had other plans.


A 121-106 Golden State win kept its 2022-23 season and hopes alive, but just like the Warriors did on Wednesday, the Lakers are ready to protect their home court and avoid a Game 7 back in San Francisco.

Lakers guard Austin Reaves said there are things the team can learn from Game 6 against Memphis and apply to the preparation and execution against Golden State.

“Yeah, for sure. This series, we played basically the same as the last Memphis series as far as game by game, win by win, loss by loss,” Reaves told reporters. “You can look back at that, look and see the energy and the effort that we come out with in Game 6 from the get-go.

“Even the third quarter, the intensity, the attention to detail and all those little things that will hopefully help us win this series.”

RELATED: Dubs desperately need ‘Game 6 Klay’ in do-or-die clash vs. Lakers

While the Lakers recognize some similarities from their previous series, the Warriors can do the same. They came all the way back from an 0-2 series deficit against the Sacramento Kings to win in seven games behind the 50-point explosion of Steph Curry.

The NBA world knows to never count the defending champions out because there are consequences when you do.

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