The Los Angeles Clippers had to bring their A-game against the rejuvenated Memphis Grizzlies in Game five of the 2013 NBA Playoffs.After getting blown out in game four by 21 points, Chris Paul said that last night’s game was a “must win.”
He backed up that statement by scoring 35 points to lead all scorers and unfortunately for the Clippers, only one Jamal Crawford scored in double figures with 15.
The game was no different then what happened perviously with both teams playing physical and looking to get the ball inside. What gained the separation for Memphis was a 16-5 run to end the second quarter capturing a six point lead going into halftime.
The Clippers got stymied by the run and Paul did his best effort to put the team on his shoulders to no avail losing by 10.
Five players scored in double figures for the Grizzlies including Zach Randolph who led the way with 25. Marc Gasol who was in foul trouble scored 21 including a clutch jumper with 48 seconds left in the game.
Simply put Los Angeles wasn’t able to matchup well with the physicality of Memphis’ front line and now have lost their third straight game in the series.
Most concerning is that power forward Blake Griffin left the game midway through the third quarter as he suffered a high ankle sprain in practice and was clearly didn’t look like the explosive player he’s been all season long.
This meant that Randolph and Gasol took advantage of the Clippers small front court by combining for 46 of the Grizzlies 103 points.
Many thought this might be the year for the Clippers or at the very least get the chance to go to the Western Conference Finals. Yet, even with the best season in franchise history and as Paul stated “there’s still more to do.” He wasn’t referring to winning a couple of games in round one, though it seems his teammates haven’t gotten the memo.