This time, the fourth quarter belonged to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Long the domain of the Clippers’ Chris Paul, it was the Grizzlies who rallied in the closing minutes to beat Los Angeles 90-88 and force a decisive seventh game in their playoff series.
Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph worked their inside-out game to perfection on a night when Paul and Blake Griffin were limited by injuries and the Clippers’ bench couldn’t quite put them over the top.
”This one has to hurt,” Paul said. ”If it doesn’t hurt, it means you don’t care.”
Gasol scored 23 points, Randolph had 18 points and 16 rebounds, and Rudy Gay and Mike Conley added 13 points each to help the Grizzlies win for the first time in the Western Conference series at Staples Center and stave off elimination…
Griffin scored 17 points despite a sprained left knee that limited his jumping ability, and Eric Bledoe added 14 off the bench to lead the Clippers, who blew an eight-point lead in the fourth along with a second consecutive chance to close out what would have been a landmark playoff victory for the beleaguered franchise…
Only eight teams in NBA history have come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a seven-game series. Top-seeded San Antonio awaits the winner in the conference semifinals…
The Grizzlies led by nine points in the first half, when they outrebounded the Clippers. Paul twice drew the Clippers within one in the second quarter before Gasol’s three-point play extended Memphis’ lead to 42-38 at the break. Paul and Griffin combined for 12 points and six rebounds in the half, with Paul playing 18 minutes and Griffin 15. The Grizzlies had 13 turnovers in the half, when neither team shot well…
– Reported by the Associated Press
Memphis did all of the little things this time. The Griz got steals, offensive rebounds and made it nearly impossible for the Clippers to score at the rim.
Center Marc Gasol led the Griz with 23 points, and Zach Randolph added 18 points and 16 rebounds.
The Clippers, who led 76-68, early in the fourth quarter, were at full strength despite questions about whether Chris Paul (hip) and Blake Griffin (knee) would play. Both started and didn’t appear limited.
However, the Grizzlies couldn’t have been more impaired handling the basketball if they had tried. They turned the ball over 22 times, breaking a franchise playoff record set against Dallas in 2006.
– Reported by Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal
Paul turned the ball over twice and missed a key free throw in the final five minutes, helping the Grizzlies reclaim home-court advantage in the series before Game 7 Sunday in Memphis.
Despite some poor late-game execution on the offensive end, the Clippers had a chance to make one last push. With 25 seconds left in the game and the Clippers down four, Tony Allen missed two free throws, but after Randy Foye jumped to grab the rebound, his foot landed on the baseline.
– Reported by Dan Woike of the Orange County Register