Clippers 106, Grizzlies 103

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP)—Bobby Simmons made sure the Los Angeles Clippers got off to a good start on their nine-game trip.

Simmons scored seven of his 26 points in the final 3 minutes and finished 10-of-12 from the field in the Clippers’ 106-103 comeback victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday night.

“It was all about execution,” said Simmons, whose only two misses came in the second quarter. “We were patient and able to get the ball in the hands of guys to make plays.”

Marko Jaric added 25 points, matching his career high, and had six assists to help the Clippers win their third straight game and snap a seven-game losing streak against the Grizzlies.

“We just lost our concentration when those guys were on rolls,” Memphis coach Mike Fratello said.

Memphis’ Brian Cardinal missed a desperation shot from beyond midcourt at the buzzer, sending the Grizzlies to their second loss in their last seven games.

Elton Brand had 17 points and 11 rebounds for Los Angeles, and Zeljko Rebraca added 14 points in a reserve role. The Clippers were 11-of-14 from the field in the fourth quarter and finished the game at 60 percent—the highest shooting percentage allowed by Memphis this season.

“You have to give them credit, they made shots,” said Mike Miller, who led the Grizzlies with 16 points. “Anytime they make shots, it’s a lot more difficult to guard them.”

Jason Williams added 15 points for Memphis, Lorenzen Wright had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Shane Battier, Stromile Swift and Cardinal had 13 points apiece.

Clippers leading scorer Corey Maggette sat out his third straight game, while the Grizzlies were without guards Bonzi Wells and Earl Watson, and leading scorer Pau Gasol and James Posey remained on the injured list.

“I felt like we shouldn’t just give up this game,” Jaric said. “Once we started playing stronger defense, I knew we would begin to get open shots.”

There was little separation between the teams in the early stages. Neither held a lead of more than four points and both shot well in the opening quarter. Simmons, who had 13 points in the half, hit his first five shots, while Battier connected on his first four en route to 10 points.

Memphis erased the Clippers’ last lead of the half, putting together a stretch of 11 straight points midway through the second, building its lead to 53-42, and took a 53-46 lead into the dressing room.

Memphis hit its first five shots of the second half to build the lead to 66-48. Jaric did everything he could to keep the Clippers close, hitting all but one of his seven shots and scoring 16 points. Still, Memphis carried an 82-74 advantage into the final period.

They couldn’t hold on through the final period, shooting 37 percent while committing four of their nine turnovers in the game.

“(Simmons) started off hot; Jaric had 16 in one quarter. It was a combination,” Wright said of the Clippers’ comeback. “You just can’t blame it on one thing or mistake. They came out with a really good team effort.”


The Clippers had held their last 10 opponents under 100 points. … Gasol, the Grizzlies’ leading scorer and rebounder, remained on the injured list with a foot injury even though he was eligible to come off Thursday. Fratello gave no timetable for Gasol’s return. “He’s got to be right,” Fratello said. “We have too much of our future invested in him. That’s why no definite date was given. We didn’t say 12 days or 18 days or it’ll be 24 days. It’s going to be when that’s right.” … Maggette missed his third straight game because of a collar bone injury. Quinton Ross, who is filling Maggette’s position, started his seventh consecutive game at shooting guard.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 LA Clippers
M. Jaric M. Jaric
9-14,  25 Pts
3 Rebs, 6 Assists
J. Williams J. Williams
6-11,  15 Pts
2 Rebs, 6 Assists

Team Stat Leaders