Notebook: Grizzlies 118, Clippers 105



Posted May 4, 2013 2:28 AM

By Marlon Morgan, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Memphis Grizzlies ended the Los Angeles Clippers' season with a 118-105 victory in Game 6, clinching a 4-2 series win Friday night.

After losing the first two games of the series, the Grizzlies rebounded to capture the next four and will now take on top-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference semifinals beginning at 1 p.m. ET Sunday in Oklahoma City. The Grizzlies were led by Zach Randolph and Mike Conley, who both had 23 points.

QUOTABLE: "Now this series is over. Now it is time to enjoy tonight and get ready for tomorrow. It is a quick turnaround. We play Sunday, so we are going to enjoy tonight."

-- Grizzlies center Marc Gasol

THE STAT: Friday's win improves the Grizzlies' record in Game 6 appearances to 4-0. Two years ago, they won their first-ever playoff series by beating San Antonio in Game 6 in Memphis. In the next round, they fought off elimination by beating the Thunder in Game 6, also in Memphis. And last year, they Grizzlies again fought off elimination by beating the Clippers in L.A.

TURNING POINT: Down by 15 in the fourth quarter, the Clippers used a 10-1 run to pull to within 103-97 with 5:16 to go. But the Grizzlies answered that run by going on a 13-2 run of their own to win the second playoff series in franchise history.

HOT: Unlike Game 5 in which Chris Paul scored 35 points, but didn't receive any help, this time he got some in the form of Matt Barnes. The reserve came off the Clippers' bench hot and remained that way the entire game, finishing with a playoff career-high and game-high 30 points. Barnes was 11-for-14 from the floor, including 6-for-7 from 3-point range. He also grabbed 10 rebounds.

NOT: It was another poor shooting night for Clippers guard Jamal Crawford. The role player, who averaged 16.5 points this season, was 0-for-5 from the floor as he went scoreless. Because of his ineffectiveness, and coach Vinny Del Negro's decision to go small, Crawford was limited to just over 12 minutes.

IN THE HOUSE: Among the sellout crowd of 18,119 was NBA commissioner David Stern, former NBA center Greg Oden, who was a high school and college teammate of Conley and Atlanta Falcons All-Pro receiver Julio Jones.

QUOTABLE II: "I've got a lot of time to think about that. As I do with any decision in my life, I'll discuss it with my wife, my parents, my brother, my family. I might even let little Chris chime in on it."

-- Clippers guard Chris Paul on whether he'll opt out of his contract this summer

NOTABLE: Tony Allen is widely regarded as the NBA's top perimeter defensive player. And he showed that once again with is four steals Friday night. But who would have thought that he would outscore L.A.'s Chauncey Billups in the series? Allen entered Friday's game averaging 10.6 points and finished with 19 while Billups had just four. ... After the game, Del Negro said he would like to return as the Clippers coach next season. He was coaching in the final year of his contract and stated such decisions would be made in the coming days. ... Randolph rediscovered his game in the series as he averaged 24.8 points in the final four games. ... Since scoring 19 points in Game 1, Grizzlies guard Jerryd Bayless had been relatively quiet. But in the closeout game, he delivered some big baskets and finished with 18 points off the bench. ... The Grizzlies have won four consecutive playoff games for the first time in their history. They became the 16th team to win a seven-game series after trailing 0-2. ... The Grizzlies were the more aggressive team as they continually found their way to the free throw line. They were 38-for-47 (81 percent) from the line, while the Clippers were 16-for-24. It didn't help that the Clippers were called for five technical fouls and one flagrant foul. ... Paul and Randolph were both ejected in the fourth quarter.

UP NEXT: For the Grizzlies, vs. Oklahoma City Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.