Los Angeles Lakers & Clippers Going to Game 6's

5/10/12 in NBA   |   AJ_88   |   166 respect

Both the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers took a commanding 3-1 series lead after their respective Game 4's. Both teams were aiming to close out their pesky opponents in Game 5 in order to secure some rest and prepare for their second round matchups. The Lakers were set to host Game 5 at Staples Center while the Clippers travelled to Memphis in an effort to close out their respective opponent. Los Angeles sports has been the talk of the town as the Los Angeles Kings have already reached the Western Conference Finals in the NHL and both the Clippers and Lakers were set to advance to the second round of the NBA Playoffs this week. However, it did not go over as smoothly as they had hoped and planned. Both the Lakers and Clippers faced double digit deficits in the fourth quarter of their respective Game 5's. Both teams made a surprising comeback to push their opponents to the brink, however both the Denver Nuggets and Memphis Grizzlies were able to withstand the charge, forcing a Game 6. 

May 8, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) reacts during game five of the 2012 Western Conference quarterfinals against the Denver Nuggets at the Staples Center. The Nuggets defeated the Lakers 102-99. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIREOn the other side of the equation we have the Los Angeles Clippers nursing injuries heading into Friday's crucial matchup with the Memphis Grizzlies.  Chris Paul suffered a right hip-pointer and Blake Griffin has a sprained left knee, which will undergo an MRI at some point today in order to reveal the extent of the injury. Clipper Nation is holding their breath for a positive diagnosis. In order for L.A. to send the Grizzlies fishing, both of their All-stars will need to be very close to, if not, completely healthy.  The Grizzlies built a 21-point advantage in the second half of Game 5 before the Clippers went on a 24-6 run to cut the lead to 81-75 with under 4 minutes remaining in the game. At that point, Paul was grimacing in pain and was unable to be his usual clutch self down the stretch and the Grizzlies were able to withstand the blow and keep their postseason lives afloat for one more day. Both Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph attacked the Clippers in the first half, combining for 33 points, shooting above 75%, however they abandoned that strategy in the second half as they only contributed a combined 9 points the entire second half.  Whether the Clippers have been able to turn up their defensive intensity or the Grizzlies are not able to stick to their game plan is unknown, but one thing is certain - if the Grizz cannot maintain their game-plan into the fourth quarter of Game 6, they will be spending the remainder of the playoffs on the couch, but most likely in Vegas --> which is where all NBA players flock to once summer vacation hits. The Clippers success, however, hinges on the health of their superstar point guard and budding star power forward. If they come out strong and healthy, this series will end Friday night. But if they are unable to maintain their high level of play, it's safe to assume the Grizzlies may indeed force a decisive Game 7 at home. 
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