Grizzlies starter says they’re coming back to Memphis for Game 7 ‘for sure’ after Game 5 win vs. Lakers

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

Memphis Grizzlies big man Xavier Tillman made a bold statement following the team’s Game 5 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Tillman believes that Memphis will be coming back home for a Game 7 “for sure.”

The Lakers still lead the series 3-2 over the Grizzlies, which means a win at home in Game 6 would knock Memphis out of the playoffs. However, Tillman thinks the No. 2-seeded Grizzlies have at least one more win in them.

Memphis used a massive run in the third quarter (it eventually outscored the Lakers 33-24 in the third) to win Wednesday night’s game by 17 points 116-99.

It’s not surprising that the Grizzlies were able to pick up a win at home, as the team was one of the best home teams in the NBA during the regular season, going 35-6 at FedExForum.

However, the team was much worse on the road (16-25), a sign that a win at Arena in Los Angeles won’t be as easy to come by.

Los Angeles struggled in Game 5 offensively, shooting just 10-for-39 from beyond the arc (25.6 percent) and 37-for-92 from the field (40.2 percent). The Grizzlies held LeBron James (15 points on 5-of-17 shooting) in check on Wednesday night.

Still, the Grizzlies talked a big game earlier in this series, with wing Dillon Brooks calling out James for being “old,” and the team proceeded to lose back-to-back games to fall in a 3-1 series hole.

It doesn’t seem like Tillman learned from his teammate’s mistake, as he’s talking a lot before a critical Game 6 on Friday. Tillman was solid for Memphis in Game 5, scoring eight points and grabbing six rebounds in the win.

It’s interesting that Memphis has this much confidence in the series, as the team only won one playoff series last season and is in a major hole in this one.

The Lakers, who went 23-18 at home during the regular season, are hoping that they can turn in a strong shooting performance in Game 6. The bright side for Los Angeles is that Anthony Davis finally got going on offense in Game 5, scoring a team-high 31 points.

The Lakers and Grizzlies are scheduled to face off next on Friday, April 28 in Los Angeles.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.