NBA Playoffs: Zach Randolph Carries Grizzlies Past Clippers

By Michael Ma

Apr 25, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph (50) shoots the ball and is blocked by Los Angeles Clippers power forward Lamar Odom (7) during game three of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at the FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

After a last second loss to the Los Angeles Clippers Tuesday night in game 2, the Memphis Grizzlies looked to rebound back.

Zach Randolph carried the Grizzlies to a good start, scoring 13 points in the first quarter, finishing with 27 points and 11 rebounds, en route to a 94-82 Memphis win.  The Clippers lead the series now, 2-1.

“Zach was huge,” Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. “He got started quickly. He had 18 at halftime, and that got us going and everyone else just flowed into that. I thought our defense, for the most part, was solid.”

Randolph struggled with foul trouble in the first two games, scoring no more than 13 points in each of the first two games, and only pulling down a combined 12 rebounds.

“I definitely wanted to come out and be aggressive,” Randolph said. “They’ve been double-teaming, triple-teaming me. So just go fast, you know, hit a couple jump shots and open it up. Most definitely, I wanted to come out and be aggressive.”

Before the game, Marc Gasol was presented with the Defensive Player of the Year award, and chipped in 16 points.  Quincy Pondexter and Tony Allen scored 13 points each, while Mike Conley dished out 10 assists but was 1 for 9 shooting from the field.

The Clippers were led by Blake Griffin, with 16 points.  Matt Barnes added 12 points, while Chauncey Billups scored 11 points.  Chris Paul was held to just 8 points and 6 assists.

“We didn’t make any adjustments,” Hollins said of defending Paul. “We just played better.”

Paul wasn’t happy with himself: he had five of the Clippers’ 18 turnovers, and also didn’t get to the free throw line.

“It’s uncharacteristic of us. You know I mean especially me,” Paul said. “I had five turnovers tonight, and our turnovers led to 17 of their points. They got offensive rebounds, things we hadn’t let them do in Game 1 and Game 2. We just got to be better.”

Memphis won the game with their formula: rebounding and defense.  The Grizzlies outrebounded the Clippers 45-33, and pulled down 17 offensive rebounds.  Memphis also had the edge on second chance points, 22-4, while outscoring L.A. in the paint, 40-26.

Leading 47-39 at halftime, the Grizzlies busted the game wide open in the third quarter, leading by 14, but the Clippers went on a quick 10-2 run to start the fourth quarter to pull the score within 70-64.  That was the closest the Clippers would get as the Grizzlies were able to pull away.

Box Score: