FOYE COMES UP BIG
ERIC PATTEN | 5/5/12

LOS ANGELES–That left wing in front of the visiting bench late in the game is a spot on the floor Randy Foye’s been before.

He was there against Portland near the end of the regular season, nailing a 3-pointer the Clippers had to have in the final minute. But that was a regular season game; against a team that was out of the playoff chase.

On Saturday Foye was at it again, in nearly the same place on the floor, making a high-arching 3-pointer to tie the score at 80 with 3:17 remaining in the fourth quarter of Game 3 against the Grizzlies. The shot sparked a 9-0 run by Clippers to help close out their second win of the series.

Related: Foye's Journey
It was different than the catch-and-shoot play he made over J.J. Hickson in March. With the stakes much higher, he dribbled into the shot with the 24-second clock about to expire.

“It was a low shot clock,” Foye said. “I kind of backed up a little bit and I practice those shots all the time and I just pulled up.”

After the game Eric Bledsoe said Foye has “ice in his veins” and Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins felt it was one of the plays that changed the game down the stretch. “Randy Foye’s big three on the angle hurt us,” Hollins added.

Foye hurting opponents from behind the arc is something that’s become commonplace around the Clippers over the last month. He shot 40% on above the break 3-pointers (97-of-245) on the season and 44% from 3-point range over the final month, and while he was yet to breakout in the playoffs, it was almost a sense that it was only a matter of time.

After missing badly on his first attempt and throwing the ball away on the next possession, Foye settled in. He finished with 16 points, shooting 4-of-5 from three and 6-of-9 overall. He hit successive 3-pointers in the first quarter, which seemed to open more opportunities to get to the rim.

“All series long they [Memphis] haven’t been leaving me,” Foye said. “But tonight I got some open ones.”

As the Clippers fought to overcome a seven-point deficit entering the fourth quarter, head coach Vinny Del Negro used a backcourt of Chris Paul and Eric Bledsoe, sliding the ever-versatile combo guard up to small forward where he matched up defensively with the Grizzlies’ leading scorer Rudy Gay.

Del Negro said he wanted Bledsoe’s foot speed on shifty point guard Mike Conley, which seemingly put Memphis’ offense in disarray. But at the same time, Foye managed to curtail Gay, who managed 15 free throw attempts on the evening, but none over the final 3:49.

And when the final possession became a scramble with Gay attempting a shot to win it at the buzzer, Foye gave chase, contesting the jumper from Gay’s left, and forcing a miss short as Gay double clutched.

“I knew who it was going to,” Foye said of the Grizzlies final shot. “My main thing was just not to get screened and contest.

“If [Gay] would have made that it would have been the shot of the playoffs, at least one of them.”

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