Menu
Home

Basketball

Grizzlies host Clippers in Game 7

Someone will be singing the blues in Memphis on Sunday after the Grizzlies and Los Angeles Clippers get together for the deciding Game 7 of their Western Conference quarterfinals set.

The Grizz vaulted above the Clippers in the West standings by winning their final six games during the regular season as L.A. stumbled by closing out the campaign by dropping three of four.

This is Memphis' reward -- hosting Game 7 in FedEx Forum, where it was 26-7 in 2011-12.

Mike Conley hit the go-ahead three-pointer on Friday and Marc Gasol poured in 23 points as the Grizzlies lived to fight another day with a 90-88 victory over the Clippers in Game 6 at Staples Center.

"We were focused defensively. I have to be more aggressive. That's on my mind. It doesn't matter who scores as long as we win the game," said Gasol.

Conley finished with 13 points, Zach Randolph had 18 to go with 16 rebounds and Rudy Gay chipped in another 13 points for the Grizzlies, who have forced a decisive Game 7 in consecutive seasons. Memphis especially dominated in the paint, outscoring Los Angeles 48-26 inside and outrebounding the Clips 48-32.

"We stuck together tonight and kept battling. We got stops at the end and finished the game," Randolph said.

Memphis took Oklahoma City to a Game 7 in last season's conference semifinals, but was routed by 15 points on the road.

Blake Griffin netted a team-high 17 points for the Clippers despite spraining his knee in Game 5 on Wednesday. Chris Paul had 11 points and seven assists while dealing with a strained right hip flexor, also suffered Wednesday.

"Chris and Blake battled through as best they could," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said.

The Grizz once trailed 3-1 in the set and only eight NBA teams have rallied from that deficit in a seven-game series with Denver being the latest to fail when it fell to the LA Lakers in Game 7 on Saturday. The last team to pull it off was the 2006 Phoenix Suns, when they defeated the Lakers.

The Clippers' last playoff series win came over the Nuggets in '06 and this is their first trip to the playoffs since then, largely due to the blockbuster trade that brought Paul to town from New Orleans. In fact, the Clips are angling for just their third playoff series win in franchise history. The other was a best-of-three win over Philadelphia in 1976, when they were known as the Buffalo Braves.

The Grizz have won just one playoff series in their history, last season's quarterfinals upset over San Antonio.

"We'd like to be a consistent franchise and get to the playoffs all the time and nobody's talking about the first," Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said.

The Clippers' last Game 7 appearance was a loss to Phoenix in the '06 conference semifinals, in their last trip to the playoffs.

"This will be my second Game 7. I can't wait. I'm not ready to start my summer," said Paul.

Memphis lost two of three meetings against the Clippers in the regular season, both at Staples Center.

These two teams have never met in the postseason before.

The West's No. 1 seed, San Antonio, awaits the winner in the conference semifinals.