Was that win over the Memphis Grizzlies a sweet one or what?
The Grizzlies have been a thorn in the side of the Clippers lately. They knocked them out of last year’s playoffs coming back from a 2-0 deficit to win four in a row and then handed them their first home loss of this season.
Couple this with the fact that the Clips came into the game on a two-game skid, facing five more road games before getting back home, this did not look good going in. What a difference one game can make.
L.A. had every reason to feel sorry for themselves after watching J. J. Redick go down and then dropping two straight games. Also having an East Coast road swing while facing this made things look a little more bleak. Then being used in a Twitter War between the Atlanta Hawks and Portland Trail Blazers after taking one on the chin in Atlanta made things a bit worse. But to the team’s credit, they came out and played perhaps their best defensive game all season.
Down 42-40 at the half, the Clippers held the Grizzlies to 11 third quarter points. Memphis shot a paltry 38% on 29 of 77 on the night and that was with Mike Conley shooting 6-8. The Clippers were 48% from the floor at 38 for 80 and 11 of 20 from downtown for a nice 55%, thank you very much. The Clippers scored nearly as many points in the fourth quarter (37) as they did in the entire first half. Six Clippers ended in double figures and there were three who led with 15 points, Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford and Darren Collison.
And so now, with the Cleveland Cavaliers next up, all of a sudden the mood of the Clipper Nation is much better. It’s not that we were panicking before, but we were thinking, “get us out of this road trip 3-4 and we’ll take it.” Now we are thinking, “Beat the Cavs, that’s 2-1. Then we have four games we should be in all the way with the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets and Washington Wizards. We should go 5-2 or even 6-1.
It’s amazing what one good win can do.