Los Angeles improved to 6-1 without top scorer Corey Maggette on Monday with a 96-89 win over the New York Knicks. The Clippers have won four of five since a season high-tying five-game losing streak from Jan. 15-22.
Maggette, averaging 21.1 points, missed his second straight game Monday because of an injured collarbone after sitting out two contests last week with a foot injury.
”(Missing Maggette) is a lot to overcome, but Quinton Ross really stepped up, playing good defense and hitting some big shots,” Brand said. “Everybody was sharing the ball and it was the same scheme.”
Ross’ shot gave Los Angeles a 91-87 lead with 1:03 remaining.
“There wasn’t any more time on the clock, so I had to shoot it,” said Ross, who finished with a career high-tying 14 points. “I work on that shot every day, so it felt real good leaving my hand. I was just grateful that it went in.”
Memphis is 4-1 since leading scorer Pau Gasol went on the injured list Jan. 25 with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. On Tuesday, the Grizzlies also played without Bonzi Wells (leg) and Earl Watson (shoulder), but they beat the Phoenix Suns 108-97.
Memphis has won five of six and 15 of its last 18.
“I am happy for the group of guys,” Memphis coach Mike Fratello said. “They hung in there and found contributions from everyone. We had seven guys score in double figures, and we were really sharing the ball.”
The Clippers have lost six straight on the road, while the Grizzlies have won five in a row at home.
Memphis has won seven consecutive games over Los Angeles since a 102-100 loss at Staples Center on March 30, 2003.
STANDINGS (through Feb. 1): Clippers - 4th place, 13 GB, Pacific Division. Grizzlies - 3rd place, 10 GB, Southwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Clippers - Maggette, 21.1 ppg; Brand, 9.6 rpg; Jaric, 6.8 apg. Grizzlies - Gasol, 18.9 ppg and 8.2 rpg; Williams, 6.3 apg.
SEASON SERIES: Grizzlies, 2-0.
LAST MEETING: Dec. 27; Grizzlies, 96-76. At Memphis, Tenn., Gasol had 24 points and shot 9-of-13 from the field, and Wells added 18 points as the Grizzlies snapped a two-game losing streak. Maggette led the Clippers with 14 points, but shot just 3-of-15.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Clippers - 5-13 on the road; Grizzlies - 16-8 at home.
INJURIES: Clippers - G-F Maggette (collarbone); G Kerry Kittles (groin); G Shaun Livingston (kneecap); C Mamadou N’diaye (back). Grizzlies - G-F Wells (leg); F Gasol (foot); G Watson (shoulder); G-F James Posey (Achilles’); G Andre Emmett (ankle).