The Grizzlies had six players in double figures led by Marc Gasol’s 18 points to go with eight rebounds, and the Grizzlies held off a late run by the Clippers to win their first game against the L.A. team.
When asked what it meant to beat a quality team like the Clippers, who the Grizzlies hadn’t beaten all year, Rudy Gay responded, “We had no chance of winning the tiebreaker against them. We knew that, but we still wanted to beat them. It was a statement game. We know we can beat them. We knew that the first two games, we just didn’t play well.”
Vinny Del Negro thought that his team stuck in well, but didn’t think they rebounded well enough to win: “They are one of the best rebounding teams in the league. I thought we did a good job handling some of the pressure, but we did not rebound the ball well, especially in the first half,” Del Negro said. “They were more aggressive, more physical, and we struggled to shoot the ball. We didn’t make enough shots to take some of the pressure off us.”
The Clippers trailed for all of the game, except for 1 play and pulled within 86-83 with 55.8 seconds left. O.J. Mayo shut the door, though, after the fed Rudy Gay for a dunk that iced the game. Chris Paul led the Clippers with a team-high 21 points along with 6 assists, and Memphis forward Zach Randolph had his third straight double-double while coming off the bench (10 points and 12 rebounds).
In the upcoming week, the Clippers play Wednesday at Oklahoma City, Thursday at Minnesota, and Saturday vs. Golden State.