Clippers offense prepares for Grizzlies tough defense
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The Clippers and Grizzlies met Nov. 23 in Los Angeles, with the Clippers rallying late in regulation to tie before earning a 112-107 overtime win in a game in which they were awarded 27 free throws and the Grizzlies just 18.
The matchup pairs the NBA’s fourth-leading defense (Grizzlies, 103.1 points per game) against the third-leading offense (Clippers, 117.7).
The Clippers have scored 100 or more points in 22 straight games after being held to 98 by Denver in the opener. The Grizzlies, meanwhile, have held eight opponents under 100.
Memphis would have nine such games if the first meeting with the Clippers had ended in regulation. The score was tied 98-all after 48 minutes.
The Clippers have won five of their last six, including a 129-126 thriller at New Orleans on Monday. It was their 16th game this season in which there was no more than a five-point difference with five or fewer minutes remaining.
They’ve won 11 of those games.
“If you’re going to compete in the Western Conference — there’s a lot of talented teams — you’re going to have to be able to do that,” high-scoring reserve Lou Williams noted after the narrow escape against the Pelicans. “So I think that was good for us.”
Williams shot just 5 for 14 in the first meeting with the Grizzlies. Memphis outshot Los Angeles 45.7 percent to 42.6 and made one more 3-pointer (9 to 8), only to be undone by a 24-14 difference in free-throw points.
The game features two of the league’s top rookies.
The Clippers have gone 11-3 since inserting Shai Gilgeous-Alexander into the starting lineup. The 11th overall selection of the draft has averaged 12.1 points and shot 47 percent over that stretch.
HE DOES IT AGAINNN 👏👏👏
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The Grizzlies, meanwhile, inserted their No. 4 overall pick, Jaren Jackson Jr., into the starting lineup in the third game of the season.
Free-agent center Joakim Noah signed with the Grizzlies on Tuesday. Noah, 33, will serve as a backup center.