Armed with a 2-0 series lead, the L.A. Clippers will look to try and bury the Grizzlies Thursday night as the scene shifts to Memphis for game three of their first round playoff series.
Following a rather shocking Clipper blowout in game one, game two was more of what we expected between two teams that finished the regular season with identical records, and have gone back-and-forth throughout the last couple of seasons in hard-fought fashion.
The Grizzlies’ efforts have been hindered tremendously by Zach Randolph’s foul trouble. Memphis’ star forward has been limited to just 56 minutes total through the first two games of the series, and has collected a total of 12 rebounds. During the regular season, Randolph averaged just over 11 rebounds per game.
After being outrebounded by a stunning 47-23 margin in game one, the Grizzlies’ effort was better on the glass in game two, but the Clippers still held a 40-38 edge, including a 9-8 advantage on offensive boards.
Blake Griffin, following a rather sub-par 10-and-5 effort in game one, rebounded big-time in game two, finishing with 21 points and eight rebounds for L.A.
Of course, the true star of the show was Chris Paul, who, as he is wont to do, took the game over in the final moments, concluding in a game-winning bank shot against Tony Allen from the right side of the paint as time (nearly) expired.
Paul had 24 points and nine assists.
Memphis thrives on defense, rebounding and dominating the paint, but, unfortunately for them, they’ve had the advantage in none of those three areas through the first two games.
The Clippers have won nine straight games overall, and come into this game with all of the pressure on the Grizzlies.
Memphis could also stand to get a better effort from their bench unit. Jerryd Bayless, who was their leading bench scorer during the regular season, scored just two points in game two after leading the club with 19 in game one.
It’s been tough for the Grizzlies, one of the league’s best defenses in terms of forcing turnovers, to get on a roll so far, especially against Paul, one of the premier ball-protectors in the game.
Memphis will have to hope to turn the tables on L.A., perhaps attempting to get either Griffin or Paul into foul trouble early.
Tip-off Thursday night will be at 6:30pm PT and broadcast nationally on TNT, and locally in the Los Angeles market on Fox Sports Prime Ticket.
About the Author
Written by Taylor Smith
Taylor Smith is a writer for the Los Angeles Clippers.