LA Clippers (30-47) at Memphis (44-33)

By NOEY KUPCHAN, STATS Writer Monday, Apr 4, 2011 Tipoff: 8:00 pm EDT Tue Apr 5, 2011

After taking care of business against the worst team in its conference, the Memphis Grizzlies will continue their pursuit of a playoff berth against another of the West’s softer clubs.

The Grizzlies seek to tie a season high with their fifth consecutive victory Tuesday night when they host the Los Angeles Clippers.

Memphis (44-33) is tied with New Orleans for the last two playoff spots in the West. Both teams are three games ahead of ninth-place Houston with five to play.

“We understand we have to keep winning,” Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said. “There is a point where we will be in if we keep winning and/or Houston starts losing. Our focus is to go out and play one game at a time, and when they tell us we are in, then we will be in.

“Until that time, we have just got to keep battling.”

The Grizzlies defeated Minnesota 106-89 on Saturday night - their season-best sixth straight home victory. Memphis, which is holding opponents to 89.3 points per game - 8.4 less than its season mark - during a 7-1 stretch, shot 51.1 percent from the floor against the Timberwolves.

Memphis is shooting 53.2 percent during its four-game overall win streak and 49.4 percent since the All-Star break - the second-highest mark in the league.

The Grizzlies, who are averaging an NBA-best 51.3 points in the paint, outscored Minnesota 56-36 down low.

Big man Zach Randolph(notes) had 22 points and eight rebounds, while guard O.J. Mayo(notes) scored 20.

Randolph, who appeared in 39 games for the Clippers in 2008-09, had 30 points and 12 boards in a 105-82 home win over Los Angeles on March 14 - the Grizzlies’ fourth victory in five games in the series overall, and fifth in the last six home meetings. Memphis also prevailed 84-83 at Los Angeles on Dec. 11.

The Clippers (30-47), losers of three straight on the road, begin a four-game trip following Saturday night’s 98-92 win over Oklahoma City.

Los Angeles overcame a 16-point deficit by outscoring the Thunder 61-43 in the second half to avoid a third straight loss.

“We just stepped it up defensively and stayed aggressive at the offensive end,” rookie of the year favorite Blake Griffin(notes) said. “It’s a great win, but it’s only 30 wins. We have to do a better job closing out games and making sure we win a lot of them - not just getting up to win certain games.”

Griffin totaled 26 points and 16 rebounds for his fourth consecutive double-double. Griffin was held to a season-low eight points on 4-of-10 shooting in last month’s loss to Memphis.

The Clippers have won five straight when holding teams below 100 points, but are allowing an average of 105.7 in their last six games away from home.

Los Angeles center Chris Kaman(notes) (viral infection) was held out for the second consecutive night while forward Ryan Gomes(notes) missed his first game of the season (sore knee). Both players are uncertain for this contest.

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