April 24, 2013
LA Clippers take 2-0 lead over the Memphis Grizzlies
The Clippers are looking strong this season, with both Paul and Griffin proving they've got what it takes.
By Stephen Lars
There is no doubt that the Clippers are this year´s strongest team in California, and one of the top contenders coming off the Western Conference to fight for the national title. It´s like if all of the parts are fitting in nicely and the Clippers are starting to show signs of improvement. Not only did they outshined their local competition and finally began to get some recognition after living in the shadows of the LA Lakers with whom they share the Staples Center. This time, it really seems as if the Clippers could make it to the Conference Finals and maybe surprise either the Oklahoma City Thunder and or the San Antonio Spurs.
It´s like if all of the parts are fitting in nicely and the Clippers are starting to show signs of improvement.
But beating the Memphis Grizzlies at home in game 2 of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs was not an easy task. It took the brilliance and the clutch time virtuosity of Chris Paul to pull of a winning jumper with only one tenth of a second left in the fourth quarter to take a 93-91 win over the Grizzlies. It didn’t matter that Tony Allen was giving him some of the best coverage you could ask for in basketball, at the end, when it mattered most, Paul rose to the air, and made that jumper as the buzzer gave the Clippers a 2-0 advantage in the best of seven series against Memphis.
Mike Conley guided the Grizzlies efforts with a playoffs-high 28 points and 9 assists. This was a huge improvement from the point guard who had 12 points and 5 assists in the first game at Memphis. Power Forward Zach Randolph had 13 points and 8 rebounds, a good number, but he only attempted 10 shots for the night, and that sort of numbers are not good enough for the postseason. Spaniard Marc Gasol had 17 points and 7 rebounds, including a great dunk in the fourth quarter when there were only 13 seconds left on the game that tied the game to 91 a piece. Then came Chris Paul and ended it, but it was a fight till the last second, literally.
Paul guided the LA Clippers’ efforts with 24 points, 9 assists and 4 rebounds. Blake Griffin chipped in with 21 points and 8 rebounds including a couple of acrobatic dunks worthy of the first round playoffs highlight reel. Jamal Crawford, who finished 2nd in the voting for the best 6th man behind the New York Knicks J.R. Smith, had 15 points and 3 rebounds coming off the bench. This was a solid performance from the 33-year-old veteran. Tony Allen had 16 points and 10 rebounds to round up the Clippers performance last night. "We battled, 1 through 12, everybody who as out there," Allen said in the postgame press conference Monday night. "But like I said, ain't no moral victories. We've got to conclude it with a win. It was a tough game all night. That's what we did we got tougher, now we have to be smarter down the end. Make more free throws. Keep fighting and clawing."
Stephen Lars is a prominent sports blogger and currently covers the Sports news, previews and handicaps for the BetIAS Sportsbook. You may reprint this article in its full content, please note no modifications to it are accepted.