Grizzlies vs. Clippers: Chris Paul in control

Harry How

Chris Paul and the other Clippers guards dominated Memphis in Game 1.

The Los Angeles Clippers used a 37-22 fourth quarter advantage to pull away in a 112-91 win over the Memphis Grizzlies, giving the Clippers a 1-0 series lead Saturday.

For more on the story, visit Grizzly Bear Blues or Clips Nation

Chris Paul had 23 points on 7 for 11 shooting with seven assists, but a former playoff star helped the Clippers take the lead early on. Chauncey Billups, a former NBA Finals MVP with the Detroit Pistons, scored 16 points, including two three-pointers in the first half as the Clippers extended their lead to 10 points at halftime. Billups played in just 22 games this season, dealing with a variety of of injuries, but his outside shooting and ability to get to the free throw line came in handy for the Clippers.

Billups and Paul weren't the only guards who were hard for Memphis to handle, though. Eric Bledsoe scored 15 points and Jamal Crawford scored 13 off the bench.

"The Clippers have four outstanding guards (five if you count Willie Green) and they all played well tonight," wrote Steve Perrin of Clips Nation. "Chris Paul (23), Chauncey Billups (14), Eric Bledsoe (15) and Jamal Crawford (13) combined to score 65 points on 23-38 shooting -- against the best defensive team in the Western Conference! Bledsoe has grown into a full-blown Grizzly-killer at this point, and the Clippers have now won five games in a row against Memphis when Bledsoe plays, dating back to Game 7 in last year's playoffs."

Billups' production was needed since Blake Griffin had a quiet game, scoring just 10 points on 3 for 9 shooting.

Jerryd Bayless led Memphis with 19 points off the bench. The Grizzlies seemingly have a major advantage in the low post offensively, but the team struggled to get Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph enough touches. A slow start also didn't help matters.

"Memphis, as always, needed well over two minutes to score it's first points, and were down 6-0 seemingly before the game even started," wrote Keith G. Edwards Jr. of Grizzly Bear Blues. "Zach Randolph picked up his second foul with 7:05 to play, and the tone for the game was immediately set by the officials: we're going to call garbage all game long. And they did, on both sides of the ball, all night. Three Grizzlies starters would pick up two fouls in the first quarter, and the Clippers would jump out to a 29-21 lead behind 13 combined points from Chirs Paul and Blake Griffin (7 and 6 respectively)."



More from SB Nation:

Flannery: The pass Melo had to make

Ziller: Blake, Z-Bo play to stalemate

Prada: Deron Williams slices up the Bulls

Courtney Lee's BIG mistake

Denver Stiffs: An electrifying Game 1 win.

Clips Nation: LA buries Memphis

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