Grizzlies 110, Clippers 102
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP)—The Memphis Grizzlies are carrying some momentum into the All-Star break.
Pau Gasol had 22 points and eight rebounds Wednesday night, sending Memphis to a 110-102 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers. The Grizzlies have won five of their last six and are 16-4 in their past 20 home games.
Despite a sometimes rugged and sloppy game, Memphis was glad to win going into the break.
“It’s nice to take a break from basketball and not be fretting about a loss and what you did wrong,” reserve swingman Shane Battier said.
Five players scored in double figures for the surprising Grizzlies (30-22), who increased their franchise record for wins.
Memphis led by double digits much of the game, until a fourth-quarter rally got the Clippers as close as 100-95 when Matt Barnes hit a pair of free throws with 2:42 left.
“Miller came out and hit another 3, and that put the nail in the coffin,” Clippers center Chris Kaman said.
The Clippers, in the midst of a nine-game road trip, lost their fourth straight.
“When you’re missing 40 points from your lineup, that’s part of it, but everyone has that problem,” Los Angeles coach Mike Dunleavy said. “I thought our guys could have taken care of the ball a little better, but we had a chance, and we were in the game.”
Lorenzen Wright scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Memphis, while Williams and Miller finished with 15 points each. Williams added 10 assists.
Memphis coach Hubie Brown also recognized how difficult it was for the Clippers to play without Maggette and Richardson. But he said Los Angeles made up for it with scrappy play.
“It’s very hard to win on the road,” Brown said. “But this is what is great about professional basketball—you can move other guys in, and those guys can also score.”
Eddie House added 19 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for the Clippers. Kaman had a career-high 16 points, and Barnes finished with 13 points.
The Grizzlies looked as if they would run away with it early. A 12-0 run midway through the first quarter gave Memphis a 29-15 lead. Memphis eventually led by 18 in the first half.
Memphis had a 64-47 lead at halftime.
Gasol led Memphis with 16 points, and Miller added 11 in the half.
Brand had 12 for the Clippers, while Marko Jaric scored 11.
Memphis had 18 points off the Clippers’ 11 first-half turnovers, and outscored Los Angeles 20-2 on the fast break. Memphis finished with 25 points off 17 Clippers miscues.
“We had a lot of turnovers in the first half that ended up in points for them,” House said. “Spotting a team (19) in this league, if you don’t get over the hump, I don’t care who you are playing, you’re not going to get it done.”
Los Angeles cut the lead to six midway through the third, but Memphis carried an 89-76 lead into the fourth period. The Grizzlies stretched the advantage after the Clippers got close in the final period.
“It was not the prettiest game,” Battier said, “but a week from now, no one will ever remember if it was a pretty game or an ugly game. All they willsee is that it was a win.”
Both teams get a lengthy break for All-Star weekend. The Grizzlies are off for six days before their Feb. 17 game at home against the Mavericks. The Clippers get a week off before visiting Portland on Feb. 18. … Williams missed a fourth-quarter free throw, breaking a string of 18 straight. … Brown earned his 399th NBA win. Earlier this season, Brown got his 500th victory as a professional coach, 104 of those coming with the Kentucky Colonels of the ABA. … Jaric, who had a career-high 12 assists against Minnesota on Tuesday, finished with four. … House and Barnes started in place of Richardson andMaggette.