Grizzlies lose playoff opener to Clippers
- Article by: BETH HARRIS
- Associated Press
- April 21, 2013 - 2:01 AM
LOS ANGELES - Memphis was outrebounded by 24. Big men Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol combined for just six boards in the playoff opener against the Los Angeles Clippers.
The poor performance on the glass in the 112-91 loss on Saturday night seemed out of character for the Grizzlies, but it all looked very familiar to coach Lionel Hollins.
"I've been saying when we played them before they've gotten more rebounds than they should," he said. "Their wing people come in and get offensive rebounds."
The Grizzlies were unable to overcome a 47-23 rebounding disadvantage that broke down to 14-4 on the offensive glass and 33-19 on the defensive side.
"That's too much of a difference because that's our game," said Gasol, who had 16 points, seven assists and two boards.
Randolph had 13 points and finished with five fouls. Four other Grizzlies had four fouls apiece, including Gasol.
Game 2 is Monday night at Staples Center.
"We've got to really, really step up and execute better," Gasol said. "They cannot outhustle us."
Randolph said: "It's not that big of a deal right now. We want to win the next one. If we can't win the next one, then it's a big deal."
Chris Paul led seven Clippers in double figures with 23 points and Eric Bledsoe had 15. Los Angeles had just one dunk, but definitely got it done on the boards.
Chauncey Billups scored 14 points, and Caron Butler and Jamal Crawford had 13 apiece on a night when Blake Griffin was held to 10 points and five rebounds before fouling out with 3:32 left.
Griffin missed a dunk in the first quarter, when Tony Allen and Ed Davis had Memphis' only two. DeAndre Jordan's driving one-handed slam midway through the fourth was the Clippers' first, and the big man's first and only basket of the game.
"We were able to get in front of them before they take off," said Jerryd Bayless, who led the Grizzlies with 19 points.
The Grizzlies closed within a point early in the fourth on a 3-pointer by former Clipper Keyon Dooling. Los Angeles answered with a 15-3 run to go up 92-79, equaling the 13-point lead it had in the first half. Eric Bledsoe, who had seven points, opened and closed the spurt with layups as the reserves helped the Clippers outscore the Grizzlies 37-22 in the period.
The game was slowed by the referees, who called Memphis for 29 fouls and the Clippers 28.
Memphis owned a 48-46 edge in scoring in the paint, while the Clippers dominated 25-5 in second-chance points.
Griffin and Randolph staged a wrestling match within the game. Griffin said his back, which had spasms in the regular-season finale on Wednesday, felt good.
The Grizzlies never led, and it didn't help that Randolph picked up two fouls and Mike Conley Jr. had three in the first half. Besides Griffin, Jordan had four fouls, while Matt Barnes, Lamar Odom and Ronny Turiaf had three apiece for the Clippers.
"They had two or three guys going to the glass every time," Conley said. "They were jumping over us and using their athleticism."
Paul scored his team's first seven points in the third, extending their lead to 64-53.
The Clippers led 57-51 at halftime after Barnes tipped in Paul's miss just before the buzzer. They led by 13 points early in the second before the Grizzlies cut it to two points twice in the final 1:24.
NOTES: The Clippers have won eight straight games, including their final seven of the regular season. ... Los Angeles is in the playoffs for the second straight year, the first time that's happened since 1991-92 and 1992-93. ... Memphis led the NBA in points allowed with 89.5 per game in the regular season.
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