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Grizzlies third quarter run blows open game, keeps season alive with win over Lakers

The score was 75-74 Memphis with 4:10 left in the third quarter of Game 5, which suddenly looked like Game 4 — one headed down to the wire.

Then the Grizzlies closed out the third on a 19-2 run. That carried over to the fourth and quickly the Grizzlies were up by 25, and it was a party in Memphis.

Although the Grizzlies’ season-long struggles in the fourth quarter made it a little more interesting than expected — which meant LeBron James and Anthony Davis played more minutes down the stretch — but the Grizzlies went on to win 116-99.

The Lakers still lead the series, which is now 3-2 and headed back to Los Angeles for Game 6 on Friday night.

What happened at 4:10 in the third is that Anthony Davis was subbed out for Troy Brown, and the Lakers bench — which has been impressive through this series — came up flat. Austin Reaves finished with 17 points but was 4-of-13 shooting. D’Angelo Russell had 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting, and even LeBron James was 5-of-17 for the game, 1-of-9 from 3 with five turnovers.

“Tonight, I was s***,” LeBron said. “And I’ll be better in Game 6.”

At the same time Desmond Bane and Ja Morant were energized and combined for 64 points.

Jaren Jackson Jr. added 18 points and 10 rebounds.

More than their stars stepping up, the Grizzlies showed the maturity they had lacked this postseason — that coach Taylor Jenkins called them out for. The question is can the Grizzlies show that composure on the road, when the Lakers crowd is cheering every Dillon Brooks miss or Rui Hachimura 3-pointer?

There are other questions for both teams in a pivotal Game 6. Can Bane stay this hot (69 points over two games)? Will the lack of shooting from Brooks — 2-of-10 from 3 on Wednesday — and the Laker backing off him, daring him to shoot, and clogging the lane, come back to bite Memphis? With LeBron and Davis carrying a heavy workload and the series now on an every-other-day schedule, will their legs hold up for a full 48 minutes?

LeBron’s record in close-out games — 40-11 after Wednesday — suggests he will bring it in Game 6. Just like he did in Game 4. The challenge is on the Grizzlies to meet his level if they want to be seen as an elite team.