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Grizzlies shaping into contenders
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On May 1, 2013 @ 3:56 am In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Sean Highkin, USA TODAY Sports
For the first time in the series between the Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies, the road team won on Tuesday. Not only did Memphis steal Game 5 at the Staples Center to take a 3-2 series lead, but it also controlled the game from start to finish.
Defensively, Memphis’ wings were able to shut down most of the Clippers’ weapons. Chris Paul had 35 points and Jamal Crawford added 15, but no other Los Angeles player scored in double figures. Tony Allen and Mike Conley split duty on Paul, but they were mostly content to let him go off and make sure nobody else beat them.
What makes the Grizzlies one of the more dangerous teams in the Western Conference is the deadly frontcourt combination of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. Gasol, who recently was named defensive player of the year, is a consistent force at both ends of the floor with a solid midrange game and a deadly set of post moves. He did most of his damage inside on Tuesday.
Before Blake Griffin left with a high ankle sprain in the third quarter, he was thoroughly outworked at both ends of the floor by Randolph. This was the Randolph of the 2011 postseason. He cleaned up the offensive glass and was unguardable in the paint.
With a 3-2 lead coming home to the FedEx Forum on Friday, the Grizzlies have the momentum in this series, and in light of Russell Westbrook’s injury, they pose a serious threat to the Oklahoma City Thunder should they advance to the second round.
Jackson accuses Nuggets of dirty play: In one of the most bizarre postgame interviews in recent memory, Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson accused the Denver Nuggets of intentionally trying to injure Stephen Curry, even going as far as to suggest that he had “inside information” from the Nuggets organization. JaVale McGee responded, “If we play dirty, then they must play unsanitary.” Game 6 at Oracle Arena on Thursday is going to be a must-watch.
JaVale starts: Speaking of McGee, he started his first game of the season in the Nuggets’ <a … [For more on Playoff Putbacks: Grizzlies shaping into contenders, click here.]
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