Randolph leads Grizzlies past Clippers
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Memphis Grizzlies are starting to learn how to finish games on the road. This time, they closed the deal against the frustrated Los Angeles Clippers, who lost in the final second for the second straight time.
Zach Randolph had 18 points and 13 rebounds, Marc Gasol added 17 points, and the Grizzlies held on for a 84-83 victory on Saturday after Baron Davis missed an 18-footer at the buzzer.
Los Angeles took a three-point lead into the fourth, and the lead changed hands four times before consecutive dunks by Rudy Gay and Tony Allen gave the Grizzlies an 82-79 lead with 1:53 to play. Allen finished with eight points after playing 4 scoreless minutes through the first three quarters.
"Tony Allen was the difference. He got the game ball, and that sums it all up," Randolph said. "This guy may not play for two or three games, then comes off the bench ready to play. He's a good example of a professional. He works out all the time, stays in shape and does all the little things."
Randolph was 9 for 20 from the field against his former team after posting season highs of 34 points and 17 rebounds Wednesday in an overtime win at Phoenix. Gay, the Grizzlies leading scorer, was held to 12 points -- 9.6 below his average -- on 5-for-12 shooting in 44 minutes.
Eric Gordon scored 25 points for the Clippers, who were coming off an 87-86 loss to the Lakers on Derek Fisher's driving layup at the buzzer.
"We've got to keep our heads up because we are getting closer, and a lot of these games we will win down the stretch," Davis said. "We're hurting ourselves with just a lack of continued pressure at the defensive and offensive end. We've just got to do a much better job of managing the flow of the game. We get in a good groove, and then we fall right out of synch. We've just got to perfect our style and not turn the ball over."
Los Angeles, off to an NBA-worst 5-19 start, committed a season-high 27 turnovers against a defense that came in having forced a league-leading 16.8 per game by its opponents.
"They're a good defensive team and they just scrap," Davis said. "When they're out in the passing lanes, you just really have to have good ball movement to beat them."
The Clippers had a chance to do just that, but Davis' jumper from the left corner bounced off the rim.
"That was not the play designed in the huddle. But nobody could get open, and I was open on the baseline," Davis said. "For me, that's a good shot -- one that I know I can make and should make. I got a good look, but I just didn't make it. Nine times out of 10 with the game on the line, I make that shot."
Rookie Blake Griffin had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Clippers, his 17th double-double and 11th in a row. Randolph and Griffin began the day fourth and fifth in the league in rebounding percentage.
"The Clippers have got a diamond in the rough," Randolph said. "He's tough, man. The kid is unbelievable. His talent had just a tremendous upside and he's going to be an All-Star. I knew today was going to be a battle for the young fella. I like the rough stuff, so that's right up my alley. I love to battle and bang, and I know he likes it, too."
Backup center DeAndre Jordan had 10 points and 14 rebounds for the Clippers, one day after the club announced Chris Kaman would miss at least another three weeks because of an injured left ankle that already forced him to miss 14 of the last 16 games.
Jordan's double-double was his first this season and 12th in 147 NBA games. The 22-year-old's best sequence came with less than 5 minutes left in the third quarter, when he blocked a layup by Randolph and made a dunk at the other end on the ensuing fastbreak to give Los Angeles a 59-55 lead.
Brian Cook, back for the Clippers after serving a two-game suspension for a flagrant foul against Portland's Joel Przybilla, just beat the shot clock on a 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds on the game clock to give Los Angeles a 47-41 halftime lead.
Griffin's dunk off an alley-oop lob from Davis capped a 12-2 run and gave the Clippers a 38-26 advantage with 6:20 left in the half, helping offset a 13-point second quarter by reserve guard O.J. Mayo. Gay, who forced overtime with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer Wednesday at Phoenix, got off only three shots in 20 minutes and had two points before intermission.
NOTES: Memphis was 4 for 11 on 3-pointers against a Clippers squad that came in with the worst 3-point field-goal defense in the league (41.2 percent). ... The Grizzlies, who came in averaging a league-best 48.3 points in the paint, finished with 38.
Updated December 11, 2010