Clippers coach Doc Rivers called a timeout. He couldn't take it
"I know Marc Gasol's got amazing speed," Rivers said, "but he
shouldn't be able to go from the 3-point line to the goal without
anybody touching him."
In a way, that one play summarized everything. The Grizzlies
defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 107-91 Sunday night at FedExForum
and with a slimmed-down Gasol leading the way, the Grizzlies were
the aggressors and led by as many as 25 points in the fourth
Gasol was almost flawless, making 13 of 18 shots from the floor. He
also blocked two shots.
"Gasol looks great and he's playing with an edge, very serious,"
Rivers said. "They all have that edge. You can feel it when you
watch them on tape."
The Grizzlies (12-2) extended their regular-season home winning
streak to 22 games. The Grizzlies have won three of their last four
and in dominating fashion: On Nov. 17, they beat the Houston Rockets
here 119-93. After losing by four at Toronto while missing several
players that had a stomach virus, they returned home and beat Boston
by 17 points.
And then they dropped a hammer on the Clippers.
"The Clippers are somebody that we know and that we've played in the
playoffs, and they know us," Gasol said. "We wanted to come out
strong like we do at home. Especially at home you have to play with
a little more of an edge."
By holding the Clippers to under 100 points, the Grizzlies stopped
Los Angeles' nine-game road streak of scoring 100 or more -- the
team's longest stretch since moving to Los Angeles. Forward Blake
Griffin struggled through a 5-for-17 shooting night, scoring just 12
Point guard Chris Paul led Los Angeles with 22 points, five assists
and four steals. Guard Jamal Crawford scored 19 points off the
bench, and guard J.J. Redick finished with 15 points.
The Clippers (7-5) pulled within 78-70 when Paul hit a driving layup
with 1:47 left in the third quarter. However, Memphis went on a 10-2
run and led 88-72 going into the final frame. Los Angeles never
again got within single digits.
Memphis dominated points in the paint 52-32 and outrebounded the
"We didn't rebound well enough tonight," Paul said. "We're one of
those teams, like a lot of teams in the league, we have to defend so
we can get out and play up-tempo."
The Grizzlies shot 49.4 percent (42-for-85) from the field. The
Clippers made 41.6 percent (32 of 77).
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Six players finished in double figures for the Grizzlies. Guard
Courtney Lee scored 13 points, swingman Tony Allen had 12, reserve
point guard Beno Udrih had 11 points off the bench, and Quincy
Pondexter had 11. Power forward Zach Randolph contributed 10 points
and eight rebounds.
But all of those points were mere accessories to Gasol's work, which
was a nice follow-up to Friday night when he tied his career high
with 32 points against the Celtics.
"He's very difficult to guard right now," Grizzlies coach Dave
The knock against Gasol in the past? Too unselfish, rather pass than
shoot or make a strong move to the rim. But that's clearly changing
as he has put up three of four career games with at least 30 points
in this young season. Gasol's first step is obviously quicker and he
can become a free agent this summer.
"Contract-year diet," said Clippers guard J.J. Redick. "Everybody
leans up in their contract year."
NOTES: The Grizzlies had everyone active for Sunday's game after
several players were out -- and others were playing at diminished
capacity -- the previous two games due to a stomach virus that swept
through the team. ... Memphis PG Nick Calathes finished serving his
20-game suspension for a violation of the NBA's drug policy and was
active for the first time. He played eight scoreless minutes.
Calathes was suspended just before the Grizzlies began their
first-round playoff series last season. ... This was the third game
of a seven-game road trip for the Clippers that will cover 7,231
miles. Only four NBA teams have seven-game trips this season. ...
The Clippers and Grizzlies have two of the top four rebounders this
season. Clippers C DeAndre Jordan was second in the NBA with 12.2
per game through Saturday, and Memphis PF Zach Randolph was tied for
third at 12.1 per game.
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