Clippers Push Grizzlies to the Brink of Elimination

by May 08, 2012
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The Los Angeles Clippers’ 3-1 series lead over the Memphis Grizzlies came via overtime, through hard fouls, not-so-crafty flops, and the clutch play of Chris Paul. From the LA Daily News: “Paul scored 27 points – eight coming in overtime – and added nine rebounds and seven assists as the Clippers upended Memphis 101-97 in Game 4 of the Western Conference quarterfinal series in front of a soldout crowd of 19,167 at Staples Center. The Clippers lead 3-1 in the series that Memphis was favored to win. ‘It was a fight today, no question about it,’ Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. ‘It was a very physical game with both teams going at it. They gave us problems with offensive rebounding and did a better job at the free-throw line. Blake (Griffin) was very active. Chris made some big shots down the stretch. It took a total team effort.’ Paul was the difference maker in overtime, as he made consecutive shots to give the Clippers a six-point lead, and they never trailed in the extra period. Paul made a leaner off the glass, then dealt the dagger to Memphis on a 16-foot jump shot with 44 seconds left. ‘Chris is always intense,’ Del Negro said. ‘That’s what makes him special too. Everybody knows it’s the playoffs. Not only is he making tough plays for himself, but making the right play and getting his teammates invovled. He understands the moment.’ Clippers even played without Griffin on the court at the end since he fouled out in overtime. Griffin finished with 30 points, five rebounds and seven assists.”