Notebook: Clippers 112, Grizzlies 91



Posted Apr 21, 2013 2:46 AM

By Dan Arritt, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Memphis Grizzlies did their best to slow the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 1 of their Western Conference first-round series Saturday night, but the home team eventually walked out of Staples Center in L.A. a 112-91 winner. If it wasn't their league-best defense that tried to put a logjam in L.A.'s swift pace, it was the 57 personal fouls called during the game. But the Clippers finally found a window to run through, and off they went in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Grizzlies by 15 points on their way to the win.

Chris Paul led the Clippers with 23 points and seven assists. Jerryd Bayless paced the Grizzlies with 19 points.

THE STAT: The Clippers have outscored the Grizzlies, 130-93, in the fourth quarter of their five meetings this season, which have resulted in four wins for L.A. The other numbers that will haunt Memphis the next two days is the 47-23 rebounding advantage the Clippers owned in Game 1, the fewest rebounds in playoff history for Memphis.

QUOTABLE: "We got beat at our own game."

--Memphis center Marc Gasol

TURNING POINT: The Grizzlies never led but got as close as one on Keyon Dooling's 3-pointer with 10:11 left in the fourth quarter. Clippers backup guard Eric Bledsoe then scored on a swift drive that sparked a 7-0 run, putting L.A. back in the driver's seat. L.A.'s starting backcourt of Paul and Chauncey Billups checked back in with 5:01 remaining and the Clippers leading by 11 and they kept their foot on the gas until Memphis waived the white flag by removing its starters with 1:47 left and the lead stretched to 19.

HOT: Bledsoe brought some strength and athleticism to the backcourt that Memphis couldn't match or absorb. Bledsoe made all seven of his field-goal attempts and scored 15 points off the bench, while also adding six rebounds and four assists. Most telling about Bledsoe's performance was he stayed in the game down the stretch while NBA Sixth Man of the Year candidate Jamal Crawford watched from the bench. The Clippers shot 55.4 percent as a team, an especially good number considering they only had one slam dunk in the game.

QUOTABLE II: "Eric Bledsoe, his athleticism, his speed, he had a big tip in, just doing all the right things for us out there. He really set the tone for our second unit."

--Clippers coach Vinny del Negro

NOT: The Big 3 for the Grizzlies didn't have much of an impact. Zach Randolph (13 points) and Mike Conley (12 points) scored below their regular-season averages, while Gasol surpassed his with 16 points, but shot 4-for-12 from the floor and 8-for-11 from the free-throw line.

QUOTABLE III: "I thought we had a couple droughts where we couldn't' get much going and couldn't get a flow."

--Memphis guard Mike Conley

GOOD MOVE: The Grizzlies took desperate measures with 4:23 left and down by 10, intentionally fouling Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, a 38.6 percent foul shooter this season. He made one of two from the line, but Griffin was fouled by Gasol while both battled for the missed free throw and he went to the line where he made both. Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro then did the wise move and immediately took Jordan out of the game in favor of Lamar Odom, a slightly better free throw shooter at 46.7 percent this season.

BAD MOVE: Randolph and Conley weren't able to score their usual points because they battled foul trouble for much of the game. Randolph picked up his second with 7:05 remaining in the first quarter and his fourth with 3:47 left in the third. Conley was whistled for No. 2 in the final minute of the first quarter and No. 3 with 2:10 left in the second. Memphis guard Tony Allen also fell into early foul trouble, picking up two in the first 7 ½ minutes of the game. Griffin was the only player to foul out for both teams, however.

NOTABLE: Randolph and Griffin both received their fifth fouls on a double call with 5:02 remaining. It's the fourth time this season they've been called for double fouls on each other. ... The 29 fouls called on the Grizzlies was a season high.

UP NEXT: For the Clippers, Monday vs. Memphis, Thursday @ Memphis, Saturday @ Memphis. For the Grizzlies, Monday @ Los Angeles, Thursday vs. Los Angeles, Saturday vs. Los Angeles.