National Basketball Association
L.A. Clippers 99, Memphis 98
When: 9:30 PM ET, Sunday, April 29, 2012
CLIPPERS 99, GRIZZLIES 98:
Where: FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee
#42 Eric Lewis, #49 Tom Washington, #57 Greg Willard
Chris Paul’s free throws provided the final edge and Nick Young’s three 3-pointers keyed an amazing fourth-quarter rally as visiting Los Angeles stunned Memphis in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.
The Grizzlies appeared to be in cruise control for most of the game, leading by as many as 27 points in the third quarter. The Clippers roared back, ripping off a 22-1 run fueled by a trio of Young 3-pointers to get to 96-93 with 1:47 remaining.
Blake Griffin made two free throws to make it a one-point game and the Grizzlies missed two chances to extend the edge at the other end. Reggie Evans gave the Clippers a 98-97 advantage on a layup with 50 seconds left, but Memphis star Rudy Gay answered with 28.4 seconds remaining.
Paul was fouled on the Clippers' next possession and made two free throws for a 99-98 lead with 23 seconds left. Memphis went for the victory with its final possession, but Gay missed a 16-foot jumper at the buzzer.
Young scored 19 points in a reserve role. Paul, who entered the game with a mild groin strain, had 14 points and 11 assists while Griffin had 17 points and seven rebounds.
Gay led the way with 19 points for the Grizzlies, who host Game 2 on Wednesday. Mike Conley and O.J. Mayo each scored 17 points while Marc Gasol added 14 in defeat.
The Grizzlies raced to a 34-16 lead after the first quarter, shooting 65.2 percent (15 of 23) behind Gasol’s 10 points. Memphis made all three of its 3-pointers in the quarter and turned the ball over just once.
The Clippers shot just 31.3 percent (5 of 16) and had five turnovers. Paul had one point, missing all three field goals, and three assists.
Memphis scored the final eight points of the half to take a 58-39 lead and toyed with the Clippers in the third behind, riding four 3-pointers from Conley to an 85-64 advantage entering the final frame. GAME NOTEBOOK:
Clippers starting forward Caron Butler suffered a fractured left hand. His status for Game 2 is unknown. … Memphis reserve center Marreese Speights had eight points and nine rebounds in 12 minutes. … Griffin and Paul combined for three first-half points on 1-for-7 shooting. … Memphis had just two turnovers in the first half. … The Grizzlies made 11 3-pointers, their highest single-game total since March 20, 2010.
Top Game Performances
Nick Young 19
Rudy Gay 19
Chris Paul 11
Mike Conley 8
Reggie Evans 13
Marreese Speights 9
Chris Paul 4
||Free Throws Made
O.J. Mayo 3
Blake Griffin 3
Dante Cunningham 1
Kenyon Martin 3
Dante Cunningham 1
Team Stats Summary
Memphis will play their next game at home against L.A. Clippers. The Grizzlies have a W/L % of .675 after a win and .538 after a loss.
L.A. Clippers will play their next game on the road against Memphis. The Clippers have a W/L % of .537 after a win and .720 after a loss.