Memphis Grizzlies keep LA Clippers at bay
LOS ANGELES, May 3 — Memphis suffered no ill effects of their stunning Game One capitulation to complete a measured 105-98 triumph over the Los Angeles Clippers yesterday to tie up their first-round Western Conference series at 1-1.
The Grizzlies blew a 27-point lead in the series opener as they matched an NBA playoff record by squandering a 21-point lead after three quarters, but this time they rose to the occasion in the final quarter to make amends.
OJ Mayo had 10 of his 20 points in the fourth and Memphis overcame 29 points from Los Angeles’s Chris Paul to send the best-of-seven series back to Los Angeles for Saturday’s Game Three evenly poised.
“We were more physical this game and we were aggressive,” Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph told reporters. ““I’m going to sleep pretty good tonight the way we played.”
In the other Western Conference game, the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs thrashed Utah 114-83 to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round series.
Gregg Popovich received his Coach of the Year Award prior to tip-off and the Spurs celebrated by doubling their series lead as Tony Parker produced 18 points and nine assists to lead seven San Antonio players in double-figure scoring.
“We wanted to give them no hope and we played very good tonight,” Parker said. “We shot the ball well and our ball movement was good. Hopefully, we can do the same thing in Utah.”
The Jazz shot just 34 per cent in their second-worst playoff loss in franchise history.
In the Eastern Conference, the Indiana Pacers produced a convincing 97-74 road win over the Orlando Magic to take a 2-1 series lead.
Danny Granger, who was shooting just 34 per cent in the opening two games, found his touch with 26 points and the Pacers dominated the third quarter for a second successive game as they out-scored the Magic 32-17 to take control of the encounter.
Glen Davis scored 22 point to lead the Magic. — Reuters