It will be win or go home for both teams on Sunday at the Fed Ex Forum as the Memphis Grizzlies have overcome the 3-1 lead that the Los Angeles Clippers possessed earlier in their first round match-up; as they knotted up the series at 3-3 Friday night as they held off the Clippers at the Staples Center Friday night winning the game 90-88.
The Grizzlies appeared as if they were ready to run away withe the contest in the first, however the home team climbed back into the game to tie the score at the conclusion of the third. The Clippers broke ahead early in the fourth to go on top by eight points, but Memphis came back to tie the contest and then took the lead for good after Mike Conley drained a trey with 4:37 left to play. The Grizzlies would hold a five point advantage until Randy Foye drained a 27 foot trey, to account for the final score.
Both teams from the “City Of Angels” now find themselves in similar circumstances having allowed their opponents to come back from being down three games to one. The advantage that the Lakers have over their co-tenants at the Staples Center, is that they will play on their home court as they take on the Denver Nuggets on Saturday.
The Clippers had their last game in their own arena on Friday night; but would fail to capture the victory, partly due to injuries as All-Star forward Blake Griffin took the floor with a sprained left knee while All-Star point guard Chris Paul played after straining his right hip flexor as well as bruising the middle finger of his right hand in the game five loss. Griffin scored 17 points in the game to lead his team while Eric Bledsoe came off the bench with 14 points and Paul chipped in 11 more.
Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph once again led the way for the Grizzlies as Gasol knocked down a game high 23 points while the veteran Randolph racked up a double-double with 18 points and 16 boards in the victory. Conley and Rudy Gay both added 13 points in the win for Memphis to set up game seven at home on Sunday. The winner of that game will go on to take on the San Antonio Spurs; which would be a re-match of last year’s first round series if the Grizzlies survive. Memphis upset the Spurs last year in that match-up.