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Chris Paul Heroics Gives Clippers 2-0 Advantage
We have so many adages in sports. "The team with the best players win in the playoffs." The Clippers have Chris Paul, the Memphis Grizzlies don't. Chris Paul hit a shot with hands all over him with 0.1 seconds remaining in the game to give the Clippers the 93-91 win for a 2-0 series lead.
The Grizzlies switched off and had Tony Allen, among the league's best guard defender, on Paul. Paul tried to shake him off and get Mike Conley to guard him to no avail. Instead there were arms all over him trying to prevent the inevitable.
The seconds were ticking down and finally Paul let the ball go off balance. The tenths ticked down until the ball went through the hoops and the lights turned on. The Clippers won the game.
The referees reviewed the play and determined 0.1 seconds remained in the game, not enough time for a catch-and-shoot.
"That's what great players do," Memphis head coach Lionel Hollins conceded. And unfortunately for him, that's how the game ended.
It was a culmination of a great game between the two teams. Memphis' guards certainly responded to their poor play in Game 1. Tony Allen had 16 points with 10 rebounds, and Mike Conley had 28 points with nine assists. By the way Allen averaged 8.9 points per game this season while Conley averaged 14.6 points.
Also responding from a bad Game 1 was Blake Griffin who responded to a ten-point game with 21 points. The Grizzlies made a better effort in trying to guard the perimeter which cleared things up a little more for the Clippers to score in the paint which the Clippers won 50-46.
But when it came down to it, the Clippers bench were able to dominate to a 30-11 margin.
As Charles Barkley has talked about all season, the Clippers half court game is troublesome. They held a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter only to see it evaporate as they decided to start walking the ball down the court and not start the offense until 10 seconds remained on the shot clock.
But that worry can be saved for a later date. The Clippers successfully defended their home court and will play the next two games in Memphis beginning on Wednesday.
It should also be noted that the Clippers held the Grizzlies to 91 points in both games.
Birdies told me that former Dodger owner Frank McCourt was at the Clippers game tonight. KFWB's Ted Sobel even said that McCourt wanted an interview from him. I remember in 2009 when the Dodgers announced Don Mattingly as the manager to succeed Joe Torre, I called McCourt delusional in a media scrum. He gave me a look that was equal parts hurt and filled with disdain as his handler quickly escorted him away from us.
Anyone who willingly wants to talk to Sobel is clearly delusional.
Perhaps he wants to curry some favors after his ex-wife is suing him for more of the chunk he received from the Dodger sale. They can fight as much as they want. They don't own the Dodgers anymore, so they can extort whatever money they want from each other. I guess Jaime won't be President any time soon.
Then you realize that Donald Sterling owns the Clippers, and it all makes sense. "Birds of a feather flock together," the saying goes. Well I guess the color is shit.