The Clippers grabbed a 1-0 playoff series lead over Memphis with a solid 112-91 win. The Grizzlies never led in this one, falling behind early by 13 points and whittling it down to just 1 with about 10 minutes to play before the Eric Bledsoe show began. The Clips super-sub scored 14 of his 15 points from that point to the finish line sending the fairly subdued but faithful crowd home a happy bunch. The entire L.A. bench contributed 49 points including some key physical help down low by Rony Turiaf and Matt Barnes (who else?)!
Speaking of physical, it was just as we surmised with Blake Griffin and Zack Randolph going at it all night long (that is when they weren’t sitting on the bench in foul trouble). The one negative L.A. stat that stood out for me until the 4th quarter was the points in the paint that were dominated by Memphis. But the Clips quickly turned that around along with the points on the scoreboard and it turned into a rout down the stretch. And speaking of a dominant stat–the Clippers out-rebounded Memphis 47-23 including a 14-4 advantage on the offensive glass. If that continues, this will be a quicker series than most expect.
The following are my postgame locker room interviews including entire newsconferences with Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro along with Blake Griffin and Chris Paul’s.
Blake Griffin and Chris Paul:
So now we look forward to game 2 on Monday night with the Grizzlies needing to make some major adjustments or quickly fall behind 2-0 in this series. I still think this could be a long and tight series but the Griz have to find a way to get more scoring from outside the paint while the Clips would simply prefer to enjoy their own Memphis-style BBQ of Grizzly meat before heading back to Tennessee for games 3 and 4 on Thursday and Saturday.