Clippers fall apart in 4th to Grizzlies, even series 2-2
APR 27, 2013 4:19p ET
Zach Randolph finished with 24 points and nine rebounds as the Grizzlies won their second straight to ensure another stop in Memphis for Game 6. Mike Conley had 15 points and 13 assists, and Tayshaun Prince scored 15 in his best game of the series.
Chris Paul and Blake Griffin had 19 points apiece for the Clippers, and Griffin also grabbed 10 rebounds. Los Angeles' reserves outscored its counterparts again, 43-16. But DeAndre Jordan was the only other starter to score for Los Angeles, and he had two points. Chauncey Billups and Caron Butler went a combined 0 for 10 from the floor in being shut out.
Game 5 is Tuesday night in Los Angeles.
The team that controls the boards has won each game of the series so far, with Memphis owning a 45-28 advantage in Game 4. That led to a 22-2 scoring difference in second-chance points, boosted by a 13-5 edge on offensive boards.
The Grizzlies used their prowess on the glass to beat the speedy Clippers when it came to fast-break points, 18-6.
Memphis' biggest advantage is its big men, and Randolph and Gasol each took turns helping the Grizzlies turn this into a best-of-three series.
Randolph had 16 points and seven rebounds in the first half as Memphis got off to a quick start, leading 33-25 after the first quarter. Gasol scored 18 in the second half, using an effective jumper to avoid the paint after picking up his third foul with 7:54 left in the third. Randolph got his third 7 seconds later.
It didn't matter.
The Clippers never lead by more than two, the last at 60-58 on a pair of free throws by Paul with 5:58 left in the third. Gasol then hit a 23-footer that beat the shot clock and made a pair of free throws to put Memphis ahead.
Ronny Turiaf's layup tied it for the sixth and final time. Gasol found Randolph for a layup that put Memphis ahead to stay at 64-62 on the 10th and final lead change with 3:21 left in the third.
Memphis blew it open with a 19-5 surge at the beginning of the fourth and went up as much as 20, the first on a drive by Quincy Pondexter with 3:45 left at 96-76. The Grizzlies outscored the Clippers 33-16 in the quarter and 55-36 for the half.
Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro then subbed in from his bench with 3:02 remaining and had all his starters on the sideline for the final 2 minutes.
The Grizzlies set the tone from the start and led by as much as 12 in the first quarter. They went cold in the second when Paul scored nine of his 14 first-half points to help the Clippers to a 47-46 lead at halftime.
The Clippers wanted to be aggressive in what's been a physical series with lots of wrestling, especially between Randolph and Griffin. All the pounding appeared to take a toll in the second quarter as the Clippers had a chance to take their first lead only to have Griffin travel on back-to-back possessions. They couldn't even connect on a dunk as Prince tipped away a lob to Griffin.
Gasol was the key in the third. He even connected on a 23-foot jumper off an inbounds pass from Prince late in the shot clock. That tied it at 60 with 4:35 left and cranked new energy into the arena.
NOTES: Memphis improved to 17-1 when shooting at least 50 percent. ... The Grizzlies sold out their 12th straight postseason game. ... The Grizzlies played without veteran guard Keyon Dooling, who sat out with a strained muscle. ... Prince had only 10 points in the first three games combined. ... The Clippers shot 13 of 39 in the second half, compared to 20 for 35 for Memphis.