LOS ANGELES-Same old pesky Memphis Grizzlies. They don’t change. They scratch. They claw. They get under your skin with their physical play. They intimidate you with their dependable frontline soldiers in the the form of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol.
Then they finish you off with their in and out dart who goes by the name of Mike Conley.The big boys bang you around. The little guy wear you out with his cunning, speed and ability to break down your defense off the dribble. Pretty simple stuff.
The Grizzlies are not fast; they just beat you up. They batter and bruise you with deception and guise. And they do it quite well. The Los Angeles Clippers understand that very clearly having gone toe-to-toe in past wrestling matches with this football team that is disguised as an NBA ballclub.
After Wednesday night’s encounter with the Grizzlies at Staples Center, the Clippers are licking their wounds from their second loss of the season, a rugged, old-fashioned treatment of bowling pins being knocked around and knocked down in their 111-107 defeat at the hands of the Grizzlies.
Yes, this was a typical on-court battle between the Clippers and Grizzlies. These games usually are played out with the tough guy, don’t back down mentality from both teams. So the final outcome of the contest played out perfectly.
But in the long run, this was not even close until the Clippers woke up from their three quarters hibernation and decided they wanted to play ball. For a good stretch of the game, the Clippers slept while Conley and the Grizzlies pretty much had their way in building double-digit leads over the course of the game.
For a while there it was getting ugly as Conley (30 points, 8 assists), Gasol and still-in-the-league Vince Carter rained down one 3-point shot after another like the sky had opened up and allowed the water to fall with a mighty roar.
With all that said, the Clippers still had the opportunity to end the game with another win under their belt when Chris Paul went clutch and swished a short jumper to give Los Angeles their final lead of the night. As stated earlier, the Grizzlies never go away.
They’re like that old pair of shoes that’s stuck in your closet that you don’t need but keep just in the case of an emergency. And they always show up unexpectedly. The Grizzlies (6-5), despite a slow start this season, played the Clippers (10-2) like they’re going to be hanging around at the end of the season, ready to give some team(s) fits once the postseason come around.
This analyst came through in this contest when Gasol (26 points, 6 rebounds), standing in the corner by himself, hit a 3-point shot right after Paul (9 points) converted his field goal, to deny the Clippers their 11th victory of the season. The Clippers didn’t lose because of lack of effort.
On a night where Paul came up short in his usual scoring production, J.J. Redick (29 points) and Blake Griffin (25 points) picked up the slack. But it wasn’t enough.