Notebook: Grizzlies 96, Grizzlies 85

Posted Mar 14, 2013 2:24 AM

By Dan Arritt, For

THE FACTS: The Memphis Grizzlies came and went in a blur Wednesday night at Staples Center. They beat the Clippers to nearly every loose ball, dominated the paint and showed their Western Conference rivals who should be considered the third-best team, outworking the short-handed Clippers for a 96-85 victory, their 14th win in the last 15 games.

QUOTABLE: "We've been executing really well. We've been moving the ball very well, playing well together, and attacking."

--Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins

THE STAT: The Grizzlies (44-19) tied their franchise record with their 19th road victory of the season, a mark that has been reached three previous seasons. Memphis, which has 11 road games remaining, has never posted a winning road record in franchise history.

TURNING POINT: Memphis took the lead for good thanks to a 14-2 run that bridged the final minute of the first half and the first three minutes of the second, putting the Grizzlies on top, 63-54. The Clippers (45-21) made a few runs, the final coming on five straight points by Chauncey Billups. That spree pulled them within three with 7:18 remaining in the game, but Quincy Pondexter answered with his 3rd 3-pointer without a miss and Tony Allen tipped in a Memphis miss to push the lead back to 86-78 with 6:20 remaining. The Clippers never got closer than six down the stretch.

HOT: The Grizzlies shot 54.4 percent from the floor, and it was Tayshaun Prince and Marc Gasol who did most of the damage. Gasol shot 10-for-14 and scored a team-high 21 points. He was most effective in the third quarter, when he shot 5-for-6 and scored 11 of his team's 21 points. Prince, who grew up in the L.A. area, made his first five shots, all in the first 6 ½ minutes, before finishing with 18 points. That matched his highest scoring game since he was traded to the Grizzlies at the end of January.

NOT: Clippers backup guard Jamal Crawford returned after missing the previous two games with a sore left ankle but, apparently, left his shot in the trainer's room. He finished 1-for-10 from the field and scored two points, his lowest scoring and worst-shooting game of the season. He wasn't entirely alone. Matt Barnes got the start at forward because Caron Butler is expected to be out another week with a left elbow sprain, and he shot 5-for-15, including 2-for-9 from 3-point range. Barnes made all five of his attempts from beyond the arc in Sunday's victory against the Pistons. Chris Paul also had an uncharacteristic five turnovers for L.A.

QUOTABLE II: "You're not always going to shoot the ball well. There are other things you can do in a game."

--Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro

GOOD MOVE: The decision to trade Rudy Gay to the Raptors at the trade deadline continues to look like the move of the season. The Grizzlies are 15-4 since they traded their leading scorer. The Raptors, meanwhile, have lost seven of their last nine.

BAD MOVE: Gasol usually has his way with Clippers center DeAndre Jordan. Perhaps that's why the L.A. big man played just 20 minutes, scoring four points and taking two rebounds. But he probably would've had a better chance trying to defend Gasol than Jordan's replacement, Lamar Odom, who's an inch shorter and about 35 pounds lighter. Odom played 29 minutes, finishing with seven points and nine rebounds.

QUOTABLE III: "It's going to take more energy and more production from all of us. One of my old coaches used to always tell me and another player, 'You're pretty good as is, but I'm going to need you to be one percent better.'"

--Clippers point guard Chris Paul

NOTABLE: The Clippers are now a half-game behind the Grizzlies for third place and just a game ahead of fifth-place Denver, which has won 10 in a row. ... Clippers backup point guard Eric Bledsoe missed his second straight game with a sore calf. ... Paul scored a team-high 27 points to surpass 10,000 for his career. He's the 57th active NBA player to reach that plateau, and the sixth overall to reach 10,000 points and 5,000 assists by the end of his eighth season. He joined Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, Kevin Johnson, Tim Hardaway, Isiah Thomas and Norm Nixon.

UP NEXT: For the Clippers, Sunday vs. the Knicks, Tuesday @ Sacramento, Wednesday vs. Philadelphia. For the Grizzlies, Friday @ Denver, Saturday @ Utah, Monday vs. Minnesota.