Connect to share and comment
The Memphis Grizzlies clawed their way back into their NBA first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday with a much needed 94-82 victory.
The Grizzlies, who lost the first two games in Los Angeles -- including a heart-breaking defeat in game two -- were buoyed by a raucous home crowd and a double-double from Zach Randolph as they narrowed the gap in the best-of-seven Western Conference series to 2-1.
It was a crucial win for the Grizzlies, since no NBA team has come back from a 0-3 deficit to win a series.
The Clippers had managed to contain Randolph in the first two games, but he broke loose on Thursday to score 27 points with 11 rebounds -- including six offensive boards.
Marc Gasol, who accepted his trophy as NBA Defensive Player of the Year before the game, contributed 16 points and eight rebounds and helped hold the Clippers to just 38.8 percent shooting from the floor.
Tony Allen scored 13 points and Quincy Pondexter added 13 points off the bench for the Grizzlies.
Mike Conley made just 1-of-9 shots from the field but contributed 10 assists and three steals.
"We had to clean up some of our mistakes that we were making earlier in series," Pondexter said. "We can't let their bench guys come out and get loose. We really had great intensity on the defensive end and thank god we got the win."
Chris Paul, who delivered the game-winning shot for the Clippers with a fraction of a second left in game two on Monday, connected on just 4-of-11 from the field in scoring eight points.
Blake Griffin added 16 points and Chauncey Billups contributed 11 in the setback.
"We've been able to contain them pretty well the first couple of games. We just didn't do a good enough job," Clippers coach Vinny del Negro said.
"We got backed up too much. We gave them a few three-pointers we didn't need to give them... all the things we've been doing very well to get to this point we weren't as effective tonight."
The Grizzlies will try to level the series when they host game four on Saturday afternoon.
The two teams battled seven games in the first round last year with the Clippers finally emerging with the series win.