LOS ANGELES (TICKER) —Long-range shooters Mike Miller and Wesley Person missed jumpers in the last five seconds as the Memphis Grizzlies fell, 102-100, to the Los Angeles Clippers, who ended a four-game losing streak.
The Clippers nearly blew a seven-point lead in the final 75 seconds as the Grizzlies had several chances to tie or take the lead.
“I’m as happy as anybody could be,” Clippers coach Dennis Johnson said. “One, we got the win. Second, we held up down the end against matters that normally knock us off the pedestal. I’m glad the guys pulled through. These are games we need to win.”
With 1:15 left, Corey Maggette, who led the Clippers with 18 points and nine rebounds, gave Los Angeles a 99-92 lead with a jump shot.
Pau Gasol converted a three-point play and Mike Miller hit a 3-pointer with 49 seconds left to make it a one-point game. Miller scored 29 points.
After Sean Rooks missed a jumper with the shot clock running down and the Grizzlies got the ball back, Jason Williams made a long pass along the sideline to Miller, whose 3-pointer banged off the back iron.
“I had a great look,” Miller said. “If my back was even close to 100 percent, I’d probably have put the ball on the floor, but I still had a great look.”
Clippers rookie Marko Jaric rebounded Miller’s miss and was fouled with 1.1 seconds left, making 1-of-2 from the line.
“We need to work on how we play in the crucial moments of games,” said Jaric, who made 1-of-4 free throws in the fourth quarter. “I need to work on everything.”
Memphis called timeout, but Person missed a desperation jumper from the corner that could have tied it after the Grizzlies could not find Miller off the inbounds pass.
“I thought that we executed what we wanted to run,” Memphis coach Hubie Brown said. “When it came down to the last two shot sthat we needed, we got two good shots. That was exactly what we wanted to do.”
Person, who has finished second at the Long Distance Shootout each of the last two years, made just 2-of-8 shots and was the only Memphis starter not to score in double figures. Gasol had 19 points and 12 rebounds while Lorenzen Wright had 13 and 10.
The Clippers went 3:38 without a basket in the middle of the fourth quarter but were outscored just 7-6 during that stretch and emerged with a 91-88 lead when Sean Rooks broke the drought on a long jumper with 3:49 left.
The Grizzlies led 74-73 after three quarters but fell behind when rookie Melvin Ely hit a shot in the lane 37 seconds into the fourth period. Mike Batiste converted a three-point play 24 seconds later to give Memphis back the lead, and Los Angeles did not lead again until Jaric made a layup with 7:27 left. After that, the Clippers never trailed.
Ely scored nine of his 11 points in the fourth quarter. Rookie Chris Wilcox had 15 to lead the Clippers’ bench, which scored 52 points.
Both teams shot 67 percent from the line. The Clippers shot 22-of-33, the Grizzlies 14-of-21.