The Memphis Grizzlies were back at the Staples Center tonight as they took on the Los Angeles Clippers in hopes of winning game two of their first round NBA playoff series. After a humiliating loss on Saturday in-game one, the Grizzlies went back to the drawing board.
As expected, the first quarter was close contested. Tayshaun Prince opened the game scoring a jumper. He had the first points for the Grizzlies. The Clippers appeared to start the match off cold as they didn’t get a shot until nine minute mark, as Blake Griffin opened with a slam, as Chauncey Billups was credited with the dime. Griffin was all over the court as he had various dunks and jumpers here and there.
Minutes later it started raining threes as Billups, Tony Allen and Jamal Crawford all hit three-point daggers. At the end of the first quarter both teams were tied, as they both scored 26 points each.
Crawford still wasn’t done yet as he hit a fad away jump shot. Perhaps Crawford heard about the news that he didn’t win the sixth man of the year award and maybe that energized him to have a spectacular performance.
At the half, the Clippers were leading with a score of 50-40. They also dominated the second quarter as they wen had 24 points, while the Clippers had 18 points. The Clippers were far more superior as they shot 53% from the field while the Grizzlies were shooting a poor 46%. Los Angeles also dominated on the free throw line as they shot 75% while the Grizzlies were close, shooting 71%. The Grizzlies however had the upper-hand from beyond the arc as they shot 40% while Los Angeles shot 29%.
Los Angeles was also playing better as a whole as they had 12 assists and 18 rebounds but slipped up on defense as they had nine turnovers. The Grizzlies were playing swell as they dished out seven assists, 13 rebounds and eight turnovers.
Mike Conley was the leading scorer for the Grizzlies as he had 16 points, while Blake Griffin was the leading scorer for the Clippers, with 15 points. Conley also led in the assists category with three dimes, while Chris Paul led in that category, with five of his.
The Grizzlies came out of the locker room, fuelled up and ready to go as they took over the third quarter. Tony Allen obtained the first points for the Grizzlies in this quarter as he shot a lay-up, while Blake Griffin answered Allen’s shot with a fad away jumper of his own.
Zach Randolph was all over the place as he made lay-up after lay-up. Marc Gasol also hit a few jumpers here and there. Chris Paul however kept the Clippers in the game as he hit a few jumps hots and layups.
At the end of the third quarter, the Grizzlies still had 27 points while the Clippers scored 25, nonetheless the Clippers trailed by 69-72.
NBA slam dunk contestant, Eric Bledsoe, opened this quarter as he sank a layup. He had six points. He also would follow that up just minutes later as Odom again dished the ball to Bledsoe, where he finished with the ferocious dunk. Matt Barnes would also contribute as he scored a lay-up, with the assist by Bledsoe.
The Grizzlies started this quarter off sloppy and bad. They didn’t score until the seven minute mark as Conley scored a jumper with the assists by Gasol. Randolph tried to keep the Grizzlies in this game scoring a few layups.
Though the Grizzlies appeared doomed, Conley didn’t give up as hit a floater, and a lay-up. Don’t forget about Chris Paul as he comes racing down the stretch hitting jump shot after jump shot.
With the Grizzlies down two, with 10 seconds remaining, Marc Gasol hit a spectacular lay-up tying it back up. The Grizzlies would’ve sent it to overtime however Chris Paul didn’t have time for that as he nailed a last-second game winning jump shot. After an instant replay, the referees ruled it as good, as the ball left his hand before the buzzer. The Clippers take game two.
The Clippers finished shooting 47% from the field, while the Grizzlies shot 45%. Memphis also shot 68% from the free throw line, while the Clippers shot a better 77%. Both teams didn’t really excel from three-point range, nonetheless the Grizzlies get the edge as they shot 18% while the Clippers shot just 13%. Both teams played unselfishly as L.A. had 19 rebounds while Memphis had 16. As well, Memphis had 38 rebounds while L.A. had 40. Still, both were bad on defense as they both had 13 turnovers each.
Game three will played in Memphis at the FedEx Forum on Thurs. April 25 and will be broadcasted on TNT. Many people may have ruled out the Grizzlies out with this loss however anything can happen. After all the NBA is where amazing happens.