The Los Angeles Clippers may have no real aspirations at making the playoffs this season, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make things difficult for the teams that do.
They’ll face one of those Monday night when they visit Memphis to take on the Grizzlies, who sit just a game-and-a-half ahead of the Phoenix Suns for the final playoff spot.
The Clippers have endured their fair share of woes away from home this season, but they finally appear to have found their rhythm of late.
They’ve won three of the first four games on their current five-game road trip, and have won just eight total games away from Staples Center on the season.
Following a disappointing overtime loss to the Nets, L.A. rebounded by trouncing the Washington Wizards the next night 122-101.
Blake Griffin led all scorers with 26 points, all of which were scored before halftime. He finished with fewer than 10 rebounds for the third consecutive game; the longest stretch during which he hasn’t recorded a double-double all season long.
While the Clippers earned their easiest win of the season Saturday night, the Grizzlies (36-31) suffered their worst loss, losing 118-85 in Miami.
The Grizzlies will be without leading scorer Rudy Gay tonight for the 11th straight game as he continues to nurse a shoulder injury suffered on February 15.
Memphis has gone 5-5 during his absence, with some impressive wins over quality opponents, including San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Dallas.
The two teams have met once so far this season; an 84-83 Memphis win on December 11 in Los Angeles.
Memphis reserve guard Tony Allen was a thorn in the side of the Clippers in the last matchup, scoring eight points and picking up four steals in the final quarter.
The Clippers committed 27 turnovers in that game, and failure to execute offensively late in the game is what eventually cost them a victory.
Leading scorer Eric Gordon will miss his fifth-straight game with a wrist injury.
L.A. will have plenty of opportunities to spoil Memphis’ playoff hopes, as this will be the first of three matchups between the teams in the season’s final 15 games.
Tip-off at FedEx Forum is scheduled for 5:00pm PT.
About the Author
Written by Taylor Smith
Taylor Smith is a writer for the Los Angeles Clippers, and covers the Los Angeles Dodgers for ProSportsBlogging.com.