While technically the fourth-place team in the conference, the Los Angeles Clippers came in to Saturday's game just one game behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the final home-court spot out west. They left Memphis in control of their home-court destiny after beating the Grizzlies, 91-87.
The Grizzlies got their typical balanced scoring from their starting five in a back and forth first half, while the Clippers found a large part of their offense from a guard and a big man not named Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. DeAndre Jordan led all first-half scorers with 16 points, while Willie Green chipped in 10 points.
The second half started much like the first one ended, with the two teams trading baskets. The stars took over the scoring load for both teams in the third quarter, as Paul and Griffin combined for 12 points, while Marc Gasol scored eight in the quarter and the Grizzlies went on a 7-0 run to end the third with a five-point lead.
The Clippers responded with a 12-0 run of their own before Zach Randolph stopped the bleeding with two straight buckets, which prompted an 8-0 Grizzlies run of their own. However, Chris Paul hit a step-back jumper over Tony Allen to put the Clippers up three with three minutes to play, and Los Angeles held off the Grizzlies the rest of the way.
The win pulled the Clippers into a tie for fourth place with Memphis, and it gave the team a 3-1 season series win, which seals home court for them if the two teams meet in the playoffs. The Clippers still have games at home against Portland and on the road to take on the Sacramento Kings. Memphis plays in Dallas on Monday and finishes out their season against Utah. The Clippers are also now a 1/2 game back of the Denver Nuggets for third place in the Western Conference.