Chris Paul hit a runner with 0.1 seconds Monday, and the Los Angeles Clippers won Game 2 of their Western Conference Playoffs' first-round series, 93-91, over the Memphis Grizzlies. The Clippers now have a 2-0 lead as the series turns to Memphis.
Memphis didn't let the Clippers pull away like they did in Game 1 (the Clippers outscored Memphis 37-22 in the fourth Saturday to win, 112-91), but the Grizzlies ultimately couldn't find the points to overcome their consistently marginal deficits. The Grizzlies took a 61-59 lead with about 6 1/2 minutes to play in the third quarter, but that would be their only lead of the second half.
Los Angeles called a 20-second timeout to set up the play at mid-court for the Clippers. Paul held the ball at the top of the key and took it to his right, letting go with just over a second to go. The ball banked in off the backboard, lit red, to give the Clippers the win.
The big void for the Grizzlies in Game 1 was on the glass, and that was an area of big improvement Monday. Memphis was out-rebounded, 47-23, in the series opener, and Los Angeles used that advantage. The Grizzlies had four offensive rebounds in the entire game Saturday. Memphis was much better on the boards in Game 2, fighting tougher under its own basket and playing more physical in general. The Clippers won Monday's rebounding battle, 40-38.
The following GIF, however, may have been taking "physical play" to a bit of an extreme. Always count on Zach Randolph.
Griffin was not amused.
The Clippers couldn't quite pull away from Memphis in the first three quarters, but it began to happen early in the fourth quarter. They scored nine straight points to start the fourth, including two on a loud Eric Bledsoe dunk and two more on a driving lay-up. Bledsoe's physical, aggressive play typified the Clippers' Game 2 win, keeping the energy going when the offense couldn't quite ignite the Staples Center crowd and help Los Angeles pull away.
This Bledsoe block on Tony Allen in the second quarter kept Memphis from getting within one point, and the Clippers recovered to score on a Griffin turn-around jumper in the post.
L.A.'s lead grew as large as 12 in the fourth quarter at 83-71 with 9:50 to play, a stretch during which the Clippers' defense was as impressive as anything. Memphis was held without a field goal for a stretch of over six minutes that Conley snapped with a jumper at the 7:35 mark of the fourth quarter. At that point, the Clippers led, 83-76.
Conley led the Grizzlies with 28 points on 9-of-18 shooting. He was also 9-of-13 from the free-throw line. Jamal Crawford had 15 points off the bench for the Clippers.