The Grizzlies won an old-time Memphis wrestling match Friday night, and now they’re headed back to the Western Conference semifinals for the second time in three seasons after getting the final takedown.
Mike Conley and Zach Randolph scored 23 points each, and the Grizzlies beat the Los Angeles Clippers 118-105 on Friday night to take the first-round series 4-2.
The Grizzlies had never won four straight postseason games before this series, and they became only the 10th team in NBA history to win four straight after trailing 0-2. They will open the second round at Oklahoma City on Sunday in a rematch of the franchise’s only other Western semifinal that the Thunder won in seven in 2011.
Memphis finished with seven players in double figures. Tony Allen had a postseason-best 19 points, and Jerryd Bayless had 16.
Reserve Matt Barnes scored a career playoff-best 30 points for Los Angeles. Chris Paul had 28 points before being ejected with 2:29 left for crashing into Marc Gasol off a missed free throw, though he shook hands with several Grizzlies before going to the locker room. Blake Griffin didn’t start because of his sprained right ankle, and he scored nine points in 13:56. Caron Butler added 14…
Having the commissioner on hand didn’t slow anyone down in a game featuring lots of headlocks and knockdowns with the only thing missing a steel cage as they combined for seven technicals. Even Grant Hill had three fouls in 3 minutes himself in the first half, and Chauncey Billups got a flagrant-1.
Randolph was ejected, too, with 1:57 remaining. He tossed his headband toward the stands and celebrated as he walked to the locker room…
Los Angeles led only once - at 45-44 on Barnes’ fourth 3-pointer with 5:08 left in the second quarter. The teams had four more ties before Quincy Pondexter hit a 3 with 2:02 left putting the Grizzlies ahead to stay at 54-51.
– Reported by the Associated Press