MEMPHIS-As Kenyon Martin sat at the dais in the bowels of FedEx Forum after the Clippers' 82-72 victory in Game 7 of their series with the Memphis Grizzlies, he seemed to channel his inner Vinny Del Negro.
"It's a total team effort, but that's the way we've been playing all season," Martin said. "Nick [Young] came in late. I joined the team in February, but we come to do what we do best. Nick is a scorer. I look at myself as a hard nose defender, rebounder. RECAP
MEMPHIS-Following the Clippers' two-point loss Friday in Game 6, Blake Griffin sat in front of the blue NBA Playoffs backdrop at the press conference podium and said he was throwing caution "out the window." READ | CLIPPERS HAVE OVERCOME ODDS BEFORE
CLIPPERS CAN'T CLOSE OUT AND HEAD BACK TO MEMPHIS FOR SEVENTH GAME
RYAN MENEZES | 5/11/12
LOS ANGELES-For a moment in the fourth quarter, it looked like the Clippers were about to overcome injuries to their two stars and close out the Memphis Grizzlies on their home floor.
LOS ANGELES-The Clippers were starving for energy.
Memphis had carved out a nine-point lead in the first quarter and with Blake Griffin and Chris Paul hobbled things could very well have unraveled Friday at Staples Center.
Enter Eric Bledsoe, the springy, second-year point guard with a knack for unleashing chaos. READ
CLIPPERS-GRIZZLIES GAME 6 PREVIEW
LOS ANGELES-Back to Staples Center they come.
The Clippers, who lead the series 3-2, will try for the second time to close out the Grizzlies and advance to the second round to face the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs. This time they'll get a shot to do it in front of their home fans, but with superstars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin listed as game-time decisions after sustaining injuries in the team's Game 5 loss at FedEx Forum. READ
BLAKE GRIFFIN AND CHRIS PAUL INJURY UPDATE
Los Angeles Clippers All-Star forward Blake Griffin sustained a sprained left knee in last night's 80-92 game five Clippers' loss in Memphis last night. The injury occurred with 1:31 remaining in the third quarter. After being medically cleared to return to the game, Griffin finished the contest with 15 points, 11 rebounds and three steals in 39 minutes played. Griffin underwent an MRI today in Los Angeles which confirmed that there was no structural damage to the knee.
Clippers All-Star point guard Chris Paul suffered a strained right hip flexor with 5:16 remaining in the fourth quarter last night. Paul also returned to the game, finishing the night with 19 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals in 39 minutes of action.
Both players will be listed as game time decisions for game six tomorrow night at 6:00 PDT vs. Memphis at STAPLES Center. PRESS RELEASE
MEMPHIS-The Clippers left Memphis Wednesday night with a rugged 12-point loss and injuries to their All-Star duo.
Blake Griffin sustained a sprained left knee late in the third quarter and Chris Paul strained his right hipflexor a few minutes later. Paul also jammed his right middle finger earlier in the game. Both players returned to play in the fourth quarter as the Clippers attempted to rally from as many as 24 points down. READ
CLIPPERS RALLY FALLS SHORT, SERIES SHIFTS BACK TO L.A.
MEMPHIS-It looked and felt a lot like last time; the Clippers trailing by more than 20 points, late in the third quarter.
And as the Grizzlies' 24-point lead in Game 5 slowly evaporated, the groans from the FedEx Forum crowd were also hauntingly similar to Game 1. However, despite holding Memphis to six points in a nearly 11-minute stretch in the fourth quarter, the Clippers could not muster another magical comeback, losing 92-80 on Wednesday night. READ | Williams leads off bench
The Clippers, who lead the series 3-1, are one win away from advancing past the Memphis Grizzlies into the second round of the Western Conference playoffs for the second time in team history. But considering the way the first four games have transpired, they know heading into Game 5 Wednesday, they can't take anything for granted. READ
It was nearing midnight in Los Angeles and Chris Paul was still fielding questions in a narrow conference room across from the Clippers locker room at Staples Center.
Paul's two-year-old son, Chris Jr., was there too, on his father's lap just like he was following the Clippers' narrow Game 3 victory two days before, when he made the Blake Face famous. Little Chris looked tired, an oversized Clippers cap sliding over his eyes. READ
MORE PAUL HEROICS PUT CLIPS UP 3-1
RYAN MENEZES | 5/7/12
LOS ANGELES-Asked to point out the difference in the Clippers' 101-97 overtime win, Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins uttered two words: Chris Paul.
The refrain has been one on the lips of many coaches on the losing end of Paul's heroic feats. As the teams battled late into Monday night, Paul's knack for leaving opposing coaches salty and scrambling to adjust shone through again. READ
LOS ANGELES-It's the kind of lineup where describing it with the word unusual would be a compliment.
Mo Williams, Nick Young, Reggie Evans, Kenyon Martin, Eric Bledsoe.
It's the Clippers' five-man bench unit. They have no true center, a defensive wizard, a rebounding monster, limited size in the backcourt, two shooters without a conscience and one of the most athletic guards in the league. READ
LOS ANGELES-The Clippers-Grizzlies first round series has been both unpredictable and unbelievable.
Two games were decided by one point, including a Clipper comeback for the ages, the cities have been dueling via their local newspapers, and the teams, with their contrasting styles, look that they're becoming more agitated with one another as the series has progressed. READ
PRACTICE NOTEBOOK: GRIFFIN AND CLIPPERS OUT-MUSCLE GRIZZLIES
Prior to Saturday afternoon's 87-86 victory in Game 3, Blake Griffin challenged himself more than anyone to match the Grizzlies' physical play.
Aside from the first half of Game 1, when he scored just two points in 14 minutes, Griffin had played well in the first two games. With averages of 19.5 points and 8.0 rebounds, his numbers weren't too far off what he'd done in the regular season. Still, there was a sense he could do more. READ
CLIPPERS TAKE GAME 3
In their first home playoff game since 2006, the Clippers escaped with an 87-86 win in Game 3 of their first-round matchup with the Memphis Grizzlies. Chris Paul led another fourth-quarter comeback with 24 points and 11 assists to help the Clippers go up 2-1 in the series. RECAP
LOS ANGELES-For a lengthy stretch in April it appeared the Clippers were bound to wrap up home court in the first round of the playoffs. But after L.A. stumbled in three of its final four games of the regular season, the Grizzlies snatched home court advantage, entering the best of 7 series with a six-game winning streak.
MEMPHIS-If nothing else emerged from Game 2 of the Clippers-Grizzlies series, it's that Memphis head coach Lionel Hollins can attempt to form an assembly line of defenders against superstar Chris Paul and it will matter little when it comes to stopping him.
Mike Conley, O.J. Mayo, Quincy Pondexter, and Tony Alllen, all vastly diverse defenders, were all tasked as the primary man-to-man option on the Clippers' point guard Wednesday and it was clear that when Paul wants to score it doesn't matter who's hounding him. READ
MEMPHIS-There were moments early in Game 2 of the Clippers' playoff matchup with the fourth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies when it looked like they could head back to Los Angeles with a two-game lead and a firm grip on the series.
The Clippers quieted FedEx Forum's rowdy patrons in the opening nine minutes of the first quarter, converting seven of their first 10 field goal attempts, forcing Memphis into tough shots on the other end, and playing with the kind of intensity that they insisted was missing through much of their 2012 playoff debut three nights earlier. FULL RECAP
With small forward Caron Butler (fractured left hand) out for Game 2 of the Clippers first round series with the Memphis Grizzlies, Simmons' role is shifting from DNP to potentially starting in place of a two-time All-Star. READ
MEMPHIS-Despite having two days off between games, a rarity during the condensed regular season schedule, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and the rest of the Clippers asserted they immediately moved on to Game 2.
I've never been a part of a game like that [Game 1], Griffin said the morning after the Clippers' 99-98 win over the Grizzlies. It was great to feel that way, but right now the work starts. We've got to kind of forget about it and move on. READ
PRACTICE NOTEBOOK: DEANDRE JORDAN EMBRACES PHYSICALITY OF PLAYOFFS
MEMPHIS-It was an unusual lesson, but DeAndre Jordan is used to the playoffs now.
Talking about his first playoff game prior to Tuesday's practice, Jordan said, The intensity of the crowd was just crazy. I loved it though. I had to get those first jitters out, but during the course of the game I was fine.
[Game 2] is not going to be any easier, but you're not going to have those jitters. I'm used to it. I'm used to what the fans say. I'm used to how physical it is now. Over the course of a game in the regular season, it's pretty physical, but the playoffs are different. Like Memphis says, It's grind time out here.'
MEMPHIS-After the Clippers completed their comeback for the ages, Chris Paul referred to a diving save along the right sideline by Eric Bledsoe as a play that was likely to go overlooked.
It was somewhat easy to forget amidst the controlled chaos that was the Clippers' 28-3 run to close Game 1 in FedEx Forum. But Bledsoe's hustle play along with several other moments from the second-year guard playing his first career playoff game, were essential to the 99-98 victory. READ
the Clippers come back for a huge Game 1 Win in Memphis
CARON BUTLER INJURY UPDATE
Los Angeles Clippers forward Caron Butler suffered a fractured fifth metacarpal in his left hand with 2:38 remaining in the third quarter of last night's 99-98 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies in game one of their first round playoff series. PRESS RELEASE
MEMPHIS- For a perfectionist like Blake Griffin 148 regular-season games might have seemed like too long a wait.
But after enduring a rookie season filled with a truckload of highlights and few wins and a sophomore campaign that whizzed by at an unprecedented pace, the superstar forward made his playoff debut Sunday. For much of the night, playoff debut against the Memphis Grizzlies was far more inauspicious than he had hoped it would be. READ
MEMPHIS-There's a massive yellow sign on the parking structure adjacent to FedEx Forum with a picture of Grizzlies' center Marc Gasol. Grind Forth is the catchphrase stamped on it in bold letters, playing off the arena's Grind House nickname.
As Game 1 of the 2012 looms Sunday between the Clippers and Grizzlies, calling the series a grind might be an understatement. Fistfight might work better. READ MORE | GRIZZLIES REPORT
LOS ANGELES-The Clippers know all about the keys to beating the Memphis Grizzlies.
They've seen hours of film on the trapping defense that forces a league-best 17 turnovers per game. They've heard all about Tony Allen and Mike Conley, the Memphis backcourt duo that snatches 3.98 of the team's 9.6 steals per night. They've been to the perhaps aptly-named Grind House before. It was just three weeks ago the Clippers lost there, 94-85.
It's all part of the talk leading up to the playoffs, the first game in what is widely expected to be a long, gritty series. READ MORE
CLIPPERS VETERAN LEADERS HAVE BEEN THERE, DONE THAT'
PLAYA VISTA-It's been a while, but the Clippers held a nearly two and a half hour practice Friday at their Playa Vista Training Facility in preparation for Sunday's Game 1 of the playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Due to the hectic nature of the 66-game regular-season schedule, the Clippers rarely had court time outside of walkthroughs and shoot-arounds. With first-round games staggered over the course of two weeks, the playoffs will change that.
Forward Blake Griffin, who will play his first postseason game Sunday, was happy with the focus of the team Friday. "We really got after it today in practice; one of our only practices in the past three months," Griffin said. "I like the mentality of our team and the way we got after it today." READ MORE
The Clippers and Grizzlies. It's maybe the best first round playoff matchup in recent NBA lore, a pair of rugged, athletic teams that pose matchup problems for almost anyone.
The Grizzlies (41-25) closed the season with 14 wins in their final 17 games, including six in a row, while the Clippers (40-26) were 14-5 in their last 19.
Clippers.com talked about the matchup with a Western Conference front office executive as well as an advance scout for an opposing team. Here's a look at how they break down the Grizzlies and the series, which, not surprisingly, is expected to last at least six games. READ