Monday night the Grizzlies took on the LA Clippers at the Staples Center in LA. The Clips came into the game riding a four game winning streak while the Grizz had won 2 in a row for the first time this season. It is always a fun game when these two teams meet, and Monday night was no exception. These games are always extremely physical and come down to the final possession. Tonight’s game started off very physical, and it continued throughout the entire game. Tony Allen got a flagrant 2 foul for kicking Chris Paul in the face, which is an automatic ejection, in the first quarter. Marc Gasol got hit in the face three or four times, and Zbo and Blake Griffin went at it just like every other Grizzlies and Clippers game.
Chris Paul had a huge night statistically. He had 18 points, 11 assists, and was one rebound shy of a triple-double. Blake Griffin also had a double-double for the Clips with 23 points and 11 boards. J.J. Redick and Matt Barnes were the only other Clippers in double figures with 12 points each. J.J. Redick was only 1/7 from 3 point land because the Grizzlies made him put the ball on the floor every time he touched it. Blake Griffin had a highlight put-back dunk, but he posterized his own teammate to do it. That kind of play looks great on television, but Ryan Hollins probably did not like it very much. Deandre Jordan didn’t score many points, but he brought down 16 important boards for the Clippers. The Clippers were not nearly as effective offensively as they usually are, but the Grizzlies defense deserves credit for most of that.
Zach Randolph led the way for Memphis all night. Zbo had a double- double with 26 points and 15 rebounds. The Grizzlies ran their offense through him almost the whole time he was on the floor. Marc Gasol also played a big role for the Grizzlies tonight. Gasol had 23 points, and missed a double-double by one rebound. Kosta Koufos had his best game as a Grizzly tonight. Koufos finished with 10 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 blocks. Everything started with the Grizzlies’ big men Monday night. All of them were physical defensively, and put up big numbers offensively. When the Grizzlies play inside out like they did tonight, they will win a lot of games. Not many teams in the NBA can deal with all of the talented big guys the Grizz have. The Grizzlies have arguably the best front line in all of basketball. Mike Conley had 15 points and 5 assists, but he didn’t have to do as much offensively because of the great play of the Grizzlies’ front line. Mike Miller had 8 points, and was 2/4 from 3 point land.
The Grizzlies had one of their more excited performances of the year Monday night. They played great team basketball from wire to wire. The Grizzlies held a 12 point lead when Tony Allen was ejected, but that faded away fairly quickly. To the Grizzlies credit, they didn’t quit when LA came back, they kept playing and regained the lead. The Grizz played inside out basketball, which has worked all season, and got their big men involved early and often. Coach Joerger tightened his rotation tonight, and it let the players get into more of a zone than when he played everyone. This is a night that the Grizzlies will want to remember next time they hit a rough patch. The Grizzlies extend their winning streak to a season high 3 games, and all 3 wins came away from the grindhouse. The Grizzlies also have won their last five games against the Clippers dating back to last year’s playoffs. The final tonight was 106-102, and the game was just as entertaining as the score would indicate. (All stats from nba.com)