marc gasol

Marc Gasol scored 23 points and Zach Randolph added 19 as the Memphis Grizzlies avoided elimination by beating the Los Angeles Clippers 92-80 on Wednesday night, forcing a Game 6 in the Western Conference first-round series.

With Gasol and Randolph scoring early, the Grizzlies looked like the team that knocked off top-seeded San Antonio last spring and took Oklahoma City to seven games in the conference semifinals.

Game 6 is Friday night in Los Angeles. If the Grizzlies can win, Game 7 would be Sunday in Memphis.

Rudy Gay added 14 points for Memphis.

Mo Williams had 20 points for the Clippers while Chris Paul scored 19 and Blake Griffin had 15 points and 11 rebounds. Paul and Griffin both missed time in the fourth quarter with injuries.

Paul strained a groin muscle and appeared to jam a finger while Griffin hyperextended his left knee…

In the arena nicknamed the Grindhouse in honor of the Grizzlies’ bruising, blue-collar style, Memphis pounded the ball into the paint and banged on the Clippers all game long. The Grizzlies outscored Los Angeles 48-26 in the paint and had a 42-35 edge in rebounds.

– Reported by Teresa M. Walker of the Associated Press