The battle for the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference continues Wednesday night, as the red-hot Memphis Grizzlies come to L.A. to take on the Clippers at Staples Center.
Memphis has quietly won 14 of their last 15 games and pulled slightly ahead of the Clippers for the coveted third seed. They’re 43-19 overall, while L.A. is 45-20.
The Clippers have won the first two meetings this season between the teams after winning a thrilling seven-game series against the Grizz in the first round of last year’s playoffs.
Many figured Memphis was giving up on their title chances this season after they shipped Rudy Gay, their leading scorer, to Toronto back in January. However, they’ve won 14 of 18 since making the deal.
Gay’s departure has helped clear the way for the offense to revolve around the dynamic post duo of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol.
Randolph suffered a sprained ankle against Miami on March 1, and just returned for the Grizzlies’ latest victory, a 102-97 triumph in Portland on Tuesday. He scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in helping Memphis to their fifth win in a row.
The Clippers are coming off of their best offensive showcase of the season Sunday evening against Detroit, highlighted by DeAndre Jordan’s “dunk of the year” over Brandon Knight. They scored a season-high 129 points, with seven players scoring in double-figures. They shot over 62 percent as a team, which was another seas0n-high.
It won’t be nearly that easy this evening against a Grizzlies team allowing just over 89 points per game this season. That’s the best mark in the league.
L.A. has done an admirable job slowing Randolph down in the two meetings this season, as he’s shooting just 32 percent from the field in the two games combined.
The two teams are also just three games back of Oklahoma City for the No. 2 seed in the West. Tip-off will be at 7:30 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.