Grizzlies defeat Clippers
BY BETH HARRIS Associated Press
Saturday, May 12, 2012
5/12/12 at 4:55 AM
LOS ANGELES - Marc Gasol scored 23 points, Zach Randolph had 18 points and 16 rebounds, and the Memphis Grizzles rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 90-88 Friday night, forcing a decisive seventh game in the series.
Rudy Gay and Mike Conley added 13 points each to help the Grizzlies win for the first time in the Western Conference series at Staples Center.
Ex-Oklahoma Sooner Blake Griffin scored 17 points despite a sprained left knee that limited his jumping ability, and Eric Bledsoe added 14 off the bench to lead the Clippers, who blew an eight-point lead in the fourth along with a second consecutive chance to close out what would have been a landmark playoff victory for the beleaguered franchise.
Chris Paul scored 11 points playing with a strained right hip flexor and a jammed right middle finger.
The Clippers are seeking just the third playoff series win in franchise history. Game 7 will be Sunday in Memphis.
Only eight teams in NBA history have come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a seven-game series. Top-seeded San Antonio awaits the winner in the conference semifinals.
Tied 66-all starting the fourth, the Clippers scored 10 straight to take their first lead since the game's opening minutes. Bledsoe scored six points.
But the Grizzlies weren't done.
They went on a 17-4 run, including 10 straight points, to take an 85-80 lead. Gay scored five in a row as the Clippers missed and Randolph came up with a big block. Conley hit a 3-pointer and Randolph tipped in the ball to close out the spurt.
Griffin made two free throws before Randolph scored for an 87-82 lead. Conley fouled Paul, and he missed the first and made the second to leave Los Angeles trailing 87-83 with 56 seconds left.
The Clippers were forced to keep fouling, and the Grizzlies made 3 of 8 to stay alive. The Clippers' Caron Butler missed a 3-pointer with 14 seconds to go as red-clad fans headed for the exits before Randy Foye hit a 3 with 3 seconds left.
Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph, top, grabs the headband of Clippers forward Reggie Evans on Friday. MARK J. TERRILL/AP