The Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Clippers met for the second time this season Monday in Memphis. Both teams came in to the game with two of the best records in basketball. However, each played without one of their superstars. Clippers’ point guard Chris Paul missed the game with a bruised kneecap. Grizzlies’ forward Rudy Gay missed the game to attend his grandmother’s funeral in Baltimore. The Clippers were able to deal better with being without Paul because of their depth. This game wasn’t close after the first quarter.
In the first quarter Los Angeles jumped out to a very early 5-0 lead. The Grizzlies would take leads of 14-11 and 17-14 with 3;44 left. However, the Clippers would close the quarter on an 11-2 run to go up 25-19 at the end of the first.
The Clippers continued the run by scoring the first 9 points of the second quarter to make it 34-19. The Grizzlies would pull to within 36-30 midway through the quarter, but would get no closer. LA would close the quarter on a 17-4 run to make the halftime score 53-34.
Memphis scored the first 3 points of the third to move within 53-37 and the two teams would trade 3 pointers to make it 56-40. They would get no closer for the rest of the quarter. The Clippers then went on another 12-2 run to make it 68-42 with 4:03 left. Memphis went on a mini 10-5 run to make it 73-52 at the end of the third.
Memphis pulled to within 19 points early in the fourth, but would get no closer. The Clippers would expand their lead to 27 points with 2:42 left. Mercifully the game ended with the Clippers winning 99-73. The Clippers improved to 29-9 this season and the Grizzlies dropped to 24-12.
The Clippers shot 46.1% from the field and 5-14 from 3 point range. LA made 24 of 32 free throws. The Clippers had 44 rebounds, 20 assists, 8 steals, 9 blocks, and 10 turnovers. The Clippers had 18 fast break points and 40 points in the paint.
Forward Matt Barnes had 16 points, 8 rebounds and 2 steals. Guard Jamal Crawford had 16 points, 2 assists, a rebound, a steal, and a block. Point guard Eric Bledsoe had 14 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals and a block. He started in place of Paul. Forward Blake Griffin had 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists.
Needless to say, since the Grizzlies only scored 73 points, they had an awful shooting night. The Grizzlies shot 30.3% from the field including 6-20 from 3 point range. Memphis made 13 of 17 free throws. The Grizzlies had 48 rebounds, 14 assists, 8 steals, 3 blocks and 14 turnovers. Memphis had 13 fast break points and 36 points on the paint.
Forward Zach Randolph had 15 points, 12 rebounds (10 offensive), and an assist. Wayne Ellington started in place of Gay. He had 11 points, 6 rebounds, an assist and a steal. Forward Darrell Arthur had 10 points, 3 rebounds, and an assist. Center Marc Gasol had 8 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal and a block. Guard Tony Allen and Tony Wroten also scored 8 points.
The Grizzlies have lost 2 straight games by 21 points or more after a 4 game losing streak. This the kind of ugly game you forget about and move on. The Grizzlies did nothing right on offense or defense. Even Randolph grabbing 10 offensive rebounds only happened because they Grizzlies weren’t hitting anything. Next up for Memphis is a showdown with the San Antonio Spurs on the road Wednesday night.