Notebook: Clippers 91, Grizzlies 87



Posted Apr 14, 2013 12:11 AM

By L. Jason Smith, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Los Angeles Clippers made just one field goal over the final six minutes, but it was enough to hold off the cold-shooting Memphis Grizzlies 91-87 Saturday night at FedExForum in what very well could have been a preview of a first-round playoff series between the two teams.

DeAndre Jordan had 16 points and 12 rebounds for L.A. (54-26), Chris Paul added 13 points and the Clippers' bench scored 12 points during a key 14-0 fourth-quarter scoring run. The Clippers took the regular-season series against the Grizzlies 3-1, snapped Memphis' 13-game home winning streak and moved into a tie in the Western Conference standings with Memphis (54-26) with two games to play.

QUOTABLE: "It was everybody -- [Eric Bledsoe], Lamar [Odom], Ryan [Hollins], Jamal [Crawford]. The depth really helped us tonight. You know, the old man out there, Grant Hill, he hit a couple of big shots and had a couple of blocks for us so [I'm] really proud of him. He stays ready."

-- Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro on the Clippers' bench

THE STAT: The Clippers' reserves were the difference Saturday, outscoring the Grizzlies' bench 40-21. Crawford and Bledsoe led the way, scoring nine points apiece, including five from Bledsoe during the 14-0 scoring run in the fourth.

TURNING POINT: Memphis took its biggest lead of the game with 9:32 left on a Darrell Arthur bucket that made it 77-72. But Hill, the 40-year-old reserve forward, scored five straight points on a 3-pointer and putback jumper to tie the game. Hill's back-to-back buckets sparked a 14-0 scoring run in the final period that put the Clippers ahead 86-77. Memphis pulled within one twice over the final 3:34, but couldn't overcome a frigid 6-for-21 fourth-quarter shooting effort.

QUOTABLE II: "I think it's very similar to last season. If we do play those guys, we understand them and they understand how we play. We understand it's going to be a dogfight and it could go either way."

-- Grizzlies guard Mike Conley on possibility of facing the Clippers in the playoffs for a second straight year

HOT: Jordan scored the Clippers' first eight points Saturday and finished 8-for-13 from the field. He has made 90 of his 119 field-goal attempts since the All-Star break (75.6 percent).

NOT: Though Crawford and Bledsoe made some key buckets, the pair went a combined 5-for-17 from the field. The Grizzlies' bench, meanwhile, combined to go 8-for-24, with reserve guard Jerryd Bayless going 3-for-10 for for eight points.

NOTABLE: Clippers starting forward Caron Butler played nine first-quarter minutes Saturday and did not return to the game due to a sore right knee. ... Grizzlies center Marc Gasol had a standout all-around performance, contributing a game-high 18 points on 7-for-14 shooting to go with a season-high-tying 15 rebounds and seven assists. ... Zach Randolph registered his 44th double-double of the season with 16 points and 12 boards. ... The win dropped Memphis to fifth place behind the fourth-place Clippers in the Western Conference standings with Los Angeles having earned the tiebreaker by taking the season series against the Grizzlies 3-1. ... Before Saturday's home loss, Memphis hadn't dropped a home game since Feb. 5 against Phoenix.

UP NEXT: For the Clippers, Tuesday vs. Portland, Wednesday @ Sacramento. For the Grizzlies, Monday @ Dallas, Wednesday vs. Utah.