(Sports Network) - The scene shifts to Southern California on Saturday when
the Memphis Grizzlies square off with the Los Angeles Clippers in the pivotal
Game 3 of their Western Conference quarterfinals set.
The Clippers, who were a solid 24-9 as the host at Staples Center during the
regular season, will be playing their first postseason game in LA since 2006
with a chance to take a 2-1 series lead.
A historic comeback in Game 1 of the set by the Clippers was tempered a bit on
Wednesday when Rudy Gay led six players in double figures with 21 points and
Memphis kept LA at arm's length down the stretch, claiming a 105-98 Game 2
victory to even the best-of-seven series.
O.J. Mayo scored 20 points off the bench, Mike Conley posted 19 points and six
assists and Zach Randolph added 15 points and eight rebounds for the
Tony Allen chipped in with 10 points, Marreese Speights donated 11 points and
five boards and Marc Gasol scored eight points with seven rebounds in the Game
The Grizz, who entered the playoffs with an 11-game home winning streak
and finished 26-7 in Memphis during the regular season, appeared on their way
to a Game 1 rout before a stunning collapse that gave the visitors the
improbable comeback from a 27-point deficit.
There was no such theater on Wednesday, as Memphis answered every call,
holding a lead no smaller than four in the final quarter. Chris Paul's four-
point play brought the Clippers within 83-79, but Memphis answered with six
straight to create some breathing room.
"We got punched in the mouth in the first game and we came back tonight and we
withstood took some blows...Fortunately we were able to get a win," Memphis
head coach Lionel Hollins said.
Paul and Blake Griffin accounted for a large chunk of the Clippers' offense in
Game 2, scoring 29 and 22 points respectively. Paul also dished out six
assists and picked up five steals, while Griffin grabbed nine rebounds in the
Mo Williams and Nick Young each scored 11 points in the loss.
"We need some more consistent scoring from more guys besides our two guys
(Paul and Griffin)," Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro said.
On the injury front for LA, forward Caron Butler, who broke his left hand in
Game 1, was able to practice Friday on a limited basis while wearing a brace.
Del Negro indicated that the team received a positive report from a hand
specialist and wouldn't rule Butler out of Game 3.
"Caron is a tough guy, he's a battler, he wants to be out there," Del Negro
said. "But we also want to be smart about it."
The Grizzlies, on the other hand, are relatively healthy and focusing on the
change of venue.
"There is definitely no difference in preparation," Hollins said of going on
the road. "I just think those guys are at home and we're in a hotel. Their
routines are normal and ours are a little bit different because we are in a
Memphis lost two of three meetings against the Clippers in the regular season.
These two teams have never met in the postseason before.
Game 4 of the best-of-seven series is set for Monday in LA.
The Sports Network