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Clippers lose Blake Griffin, then lose to Grizzlies in Game 5

May 1, 2013, 2:52 AM EDT

Los Angeles Clippers Jordan, Griffin, and Billups watch their team lose to Memphis Grizzlies during Game 5 of their NBA Western Conference Quarterfinals basketball playoff series in Los Angeles Reuters

Blake Griffin would have needed to be at full strength and then some if the Clippers were to have a shot at winning Game 5 and reversing the recent trends that the Grizzlies had established in the previous two games of the series in Memphis.

A high ankle sprain suffered by Griffin in practice on Monday limited both his effectiveness and his minutes, and without him, the Grizzlies were able to continue to impose their will in a 103-93 win that places the Clippers firmly on the brink of elimination.

Memphis can close out the series with a win at home on Friday.

Griffin didn’t look right to start the game, but he was extremely aggressive nonetheless. The results weren’t there, however, and the ankle injury was to blame. Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro said afterward that it occurred during a drill where the players were going half-speed, and Griffin just happened to come down on the foot of Lamar Odom. Del Negro called it a “freak accident.”

Griffin played just 19 minutes and 34 seconds before the team ruled him out the rest of the way, and finished with four points, five rebounds, five assists, and two turnovers, while making just two of the seven shots he attempted.

Without Griffin defensively, Memphis continued to get what it wanted from Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, who finished with 25 and 21 points, respectively. The Grizzlies also got a solid contribution from Tayshaun Prince, and Mike Conley was brilliant, just as he’s been for the season’s last couple of months.

Chris Paul tried to carry the load offensively for L.A., and finished with 35 points, six rebounds, and four assists. But no one else for the Clippers stepped up, and aside from Jamal Crawford dropping in 15 points off the bench, no other Clipper player finished in double figures.

The rest of the Clippers starters aside from Paul combined for just 18 points on 8-of-21 shooting.

Even with Griffin in the game in the first half, the Grizzlies were showing no signs of relenting from the style they were able to play at home the past two games. Their bigs were active on both ends of the floor, they continued to win the rebounding battle (although just barely, and without Griffin that’s an improvement for the Clippers), and they took care of the ball by committing only seven turnovers.

Unquestionably, the Clippers have a tall task before them. They’ll need to play a nearly perfect game to win on the Grizzlies’ home floor and stave off elimination, and even then, winning two straight at this point in the series with the way Memphis has found its rhythm would seem to be a longshot.

Without Blake Griffin, or with a severely limited version of him, that task begins to feel impossible.

  1. losanginsight - May 1, 2013 at 3:19 AM

    ..and this is the flop cities “best season ever”…getting punked by the Griz.
    Losing in the first round is a nightmare to the Lakers.
    16 Banners for a reason.

    • andrewproughcfe - May 1, 2013 at 3:43 AM

      …says Laker fan 2 days after one of the most embarrassing playoff beat-downs in NBA history.

      Please – tell us more about the mighty Lakers. This could get mildly amusing.

    • spthegr8 - May 1, 2013 at 8:07 AM

      New year………BUT IT’S THE SAME OLD CLIPPERS!!! LMAO!! Y’all better pray too whoever it is you pray too. Cuz only a MIRACLE & God himself can save this season for y’all. The grizzles are getting in that A$$!!! As far as game 6 goes. I think Bart Scott put it best ” CAN’T WAIT”!!!!!

  2. Mr. Wright 212 - May 1, 2013 at 3:20 AM


    • spthegr8 - May 1, 2013 at 8:10 AM

      @Mr. Wright
      You hit the nail on the head!! The Clippers are SOFTER THEN WET TOILET PAPER!!!!

  3. badintent - May 1, 2013 at 3:33 AM

    Viny got out coached big time. He should have used his bench much better. Crawford needs to get many more touches and Odom will have to carry Blake’s load., IT’s big boy time, time to show LA and Cali who the best team is in California. GSW or Clippers

    • daniel10017 - May 1, 2013 at 6:18 AM

      Come this weekend: Vinny Del Negro FIRED, hello Phil Jackson

    • fanofevilempire - May 1, 2013 at 6:45 AM

      I tell you what, add up ALL their banners combined and then let me guess the number.

      Just remember fellas. Mamba wasn’t on the floor as the Lakers got swept.

      When the Clips are jumping around and doing the dunk-a-roo Vinny is a good coach, when
      they lose it is Vinnys fault.

      Clips will learn dunking and fast breaks don’t come easy in the playoffs and Paul gets a Hernia carrying the team.

      • badintent - May 7, 2013 at 3:45 AM

        all teams pack the paint in the playoffs, and make the teams beat them on outside shooting or fast breaks, for the last 40 years I’ve been watch pro ball. Clippers do need more outside shooters. Barnes did setup but needed some more help. But I give Vinny credit for letting the best PG in the west and the NBA run the team on the court in his schemes. I’ll be heading down to LA to teach Blake and Jordon how to make 80% Ft shooting underhand.

  4. e39er - May 1, 2013 at 5:26 AM

    Mike Conley > Chris Paul so far in this series

  5. bendover09 - May 1, 2013 at 7:37 AM

    This dudette name Lamar Odom is only good for one thing, trouble.

  6. halfbaht - May 1, 2013 at 7:46 AM

    Not even Griff would’ve been able to save the Clips from Z-Bo and Griz

  7. unxpexted1 - May 1, 2013 at 8:28 AM

    When Z-bo plays like that, Memphis is tough to beat. When Z-bo plays like that with the contributions from Conley and Gasol to go with…..Memphis is a championship contender. I genuinely think they have the best chance to beat Miami out of any team in the west. Don’t think they’d win but think they’d be most competitive because of style issues.

    • aboogy123456 - May 1, 2013 at 9:54 AM

      I would love to see that. The biggest strength of the grizzlies is the biggest weakness of the heat. I don’t see how the heat can stop z-bo and gasol going down low all day. It would finally be a good challenge for the heat and if the heat were to win, I think it would prove to me that they are the best team in the league.

  8. wfriedrichs - May 1, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    Grizzlies fans are really enjoying watching the fake tough guys winning this series. Good for them. Just remember when you wake up everyday that you live in……..Memphis. A Sweet of a city

    • sasquash20 - May 1, 2013 at 11:39 AM

      Memphis is a fun town

      • jimeejohnson - May 1, 2013 at 8:01 PM

        Two words: Elvis Presley!

    • markdamack - May 1, 2013 at 11:58 AM

      Just like the reporters from there, we beat yalls @$$ and you go straight to ripping the city. Well guess what, we got a loyal fan base. We aren’t second tier in our own city. We have a city full of history good and bad. We embrace that, we come together, and we go hard on our problems.

      Also, I’ll take you back to last years playoffs. Clips beat us, we took the high road. I’d doubt you’re even from LA and you are still giving the city a bad name. Take that crap somewhere else, sit at home, and enjoy being bounced in the first round in Memphis.

      GRIT AND GRIND. You wouldn’t know anything about that.

  9. gmsingh - May 1, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    And Vinnie’s bubble just got a little thinner…

  10. omniusprime - May 1, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    Hey Sissy Chris Paul – time to go home LOSER! Looks like that other team from LA was just a pathetic flash in the pan for the regular season but still the same old soft wimpy loser team they always are. Ha Ha Clipper fans, this was your best shot and now your team is going back to being miserable losers.

    Go Lakers, the Real LA Team!!!

    • jimeejohnson - May 1, 2013 at 8:02 PM

      Full of crap much?

  11. inthearex - May 1, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    Soft city

  12. raiderinvader - May 1, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    clippers are softer then extra quilted charmin led by Blake who is softer then your little cousins care bear.

  13. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - May 1, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    I couldn’t care less about the Clippers, but the fact that Lakers fans are SO quick to jump on them shows just how terrified they actually are of them. Probably the only fanbase in existence that would have the audacity to talk trash just a couple days after their team got completely destroyed.

    And go ahead, click away at the thumbs down button. I’m sure that will help erase the pain of getting swept and playing so horribly that you essentially gave the Spurs a first round bye.

  14. kb2408 - May 1, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    A funny thing happened on the way to “owning” Los Angeles.

  15. zacksdad - May 1, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    Clippers, time to hang your only banner.

    Division Champ

    Can hang it in the bathrooms, because like your owner you still stink.

  16. sasquash20 - May 1, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    The Clippers need a legit defensive center. Jordan is a bench player. B.Griffin is overrated big time. He plays no defense and seems soft as a babys butt.

  17. melkipershero - May 1, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    The Curse of Lamar Odom

  18. fearthehoody - May 1, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    Im a Clipps fan but wow, DeAndre Jordan is so soft

  19. scalfor3 - May 1, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    Maaaaaaaan, laker fans are sensitive this year, huh?

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