Scatter-shooting after the Grizzlies’ 104-83 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers Saturday at FedExForum evened their first-round playoff series at 2-2:
- Rebounding, rebounding, rebounding. In the two games in Memphis (both wins), the Grizzlies out-rebounded L.A. 90-61. It’s no surprise, then, the Griz also own a 44-6 advantage in second-chance points over the last two games. “They beat us up on the glass again,” Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said.
- Center Marc Gasol’s refrain for the Griz is “We have to be who we are.” They were again in Game 4 as he went for 24 points (18 in the second half) and 13 rebounds. Zach Randolph had 24 and 9. Asked about point guard Mike Conley, who had 13 assists (plus 15 points) getting the bigs the ball, Gasol said: “That’s what he’s supposed to do. We expect him to be the playmaker that he is.”
- The Griz starters beat the Clippers starters 88-40 in Game 4 (Chris Paul and Blake Griffin each had 19 points). So it didn’t matter that the Clippers’ bench had 43-16 edge on the Grizzlies. As in Game 3, reserve Quincy Pondexter provided a spark for Memphis; he scored 10 in Game 4 and was hustling all over the court and logged time at the 1, 2 and 3 spots.
- Griz coach Lionel Hollins rejected the idea they did much of anything different in terms of strategy these last two games. “We took away a lot of stuff (L.A. wanted to do offensively), but not by any scheme, but by hard play.”
- Big Z-Bo, small Z-Bo. After averaging 13 points and 6 rebounds in the Game 1 and 2 losses, Randolph is averaging 25.5 points and 10 boards in the two victories. “Just getting the ball in the right spots, picking and choosing, being aggressive instead of holding and waiting for a double-team to come,” Randolph said of why the last two games have been better.
- Someone please stop the tennis madness. Phrases like “holding serve” and “breaking serve” are being thrown around by everyone when talking about how the series “doesn’t really start” until a road time wins. Only one problem, besides how annoying the tennis lingo is, the series could go 7 games without a road team ever winning. That event would be unhappy for the Grizzlies, because Games 5 and 7 are in L.A. Game 5 is Tuesday; Game 6 is next Friday in Memphis.
- A reporter noted that Gasol seemed a little ill at ease this week when he received his Defensive Player of the Year award while the Griz were 0-2 in the series. He agreed, but when asked if he felt more deserving of the award after evening the series, Gasol, true to form, said, “It doesn’t feel deserved now. We’re 2-2. We’re not 4-2. We haven’t done anything yet. We’ve still got to go out there and win a game.”
- Chris Paul on the road ahead, with Game 5 and potentially Game 7 in L.A., “That’s why you work so hard for homecourt.”