Mike Conley scored 18 points, Jeff Green added 16 and the Memphis Grizzlies hung on to beat the Clippers 90-87 Monday night, ending Los Angeles’ four-game winning streak.
Marc Gasol added 14 points and Zach Randolph had 10 rebounds as the Grizzlies improved to 15-3 since Green joined the team on Jan. 12. They won using balanced scoring with no one getting 20 points.
Memphis led by eight before the Clippers scored seven in a row to close to 88-87, but Chris Paul lost the ball and Conley was fouled. He made both and the game ended with Matt Barnes throwing the ball into the hands of Courtney Lee.
Paul had 30 points and 10 assists for the Clippers, with Jamal Crawford scoring 15 points off the bench.
No surprise that it was a tight game between the teams who’ve met in the playoffs twice in the last three years. Neither led by more than eight points and there were 12 lead changes and 11 ties. The teams will meet again Friday in Memphis.
The Clippers fell to 4-2 without the injured Blake Griffin in the lineup, and have lost both meetings with the Grizzlies this season. DeAndre Jordan finished with nine points – well under his 20.8 average without Griffin – and 17 rebounds.
Paul’s driving layup pulled the Clippers within three before Conley banked in a jumper and Lee followed with a 3-pointer, extending the Grizzlies’ lead to 88-80.
Paul wasn’t done, though. He got fouled and made two free throws, then found J.J. Redick, who hit a 3-pointer after missing his first five. Paul followed with a jumper that left the Clippers down 88-87 with 1:10 to go. But his turnover ended the Clippers’ hopes.
The Grizzlies erased a seven-point deficit in the third behind Gasol and Green, who had 11 points, including three 3-pointers. His second 3 gave the Grizzlies their first lead since making the game’s opening basket, and his third extended their lead to 64-59.
The Clippers used a 9-2 run to close the third, with Jordan dunking off Paul’s layup attempt that bounced off the glass to take a 68-66 lead into the fourth.
Paul sparked the Clippers in the second quarter, scoring 11 straight points before they went into halftime leading 44-38.
Grizzlies: Memphis is 12-2 when Green starts. … G-F Vince Carter missed his ninth straight game with a left foot tendon injury.
Clippers: The Clippers’ 12-game winning streak against West opponents at Staples Center ended. … Paul joined Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas as the fourth player in NBA history to reach 12,500 points and 6,500 assists in less than 675 career games.