Just two games into their first playoff run together, the Los Angeles Clippers are already hurting and hobbling.
That’s what happens to opponents of the bruising Memphis Grizzlies, but the Clippers are hoping a return home will get everybody healthy in a hurry.
With a third of their roster nursing injuries, the Clippers took the day off Thursday after a highly eventful two-game opening set in Memphis. Los Angeles left with a split and seized home-court advantage in the series despite following up one of the biggest comebacks in playoff history with a 105-98 loss Wednesday night.
While they prepare for their first playoff game in six years in front of their long-suffering Staples Center fans in Game 3 on Saturday, the Clippers must figure out where to find the postseason will already possessed by the Grizzlies, who rebounded from their stunning series-opening collapse with a gritty, grinding equalizer.
”We played better, but it’s no moral victories around here,” said Chris Paul, who had 29 points, six assists and five turnovers in Game 2. ”At the end of the day, it’s 1-1. We did what we were supposed to do, yeah, win one game. But I feel like we could have got two. Now we’ve got to take care of two.”
The Grizzlies boarded a plane with similar resolve Thursday.
”We do have to win on the road, just like the Clippers had to win,” Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. ”It’s an evenly contested playoff series. Nobody is safe wherever.”
– Reported by the Associated Press