It’s not like the Clippers didn’t have a plan. They did. They understood that beating the Memphis Grizzlies meant getting rebounds, playing defense and keeping Zach Randolph away from the basket. But Tuesday night at Staples Center, they did none of that. Even worse, their hopes of advancing to the second round of the playoffs may rest on Blake Griffin’s right ankle. Griffin suffered a high ankle sprain Monday in practice and played just 19½ minutes in the Clippers’ 103-93 loss that put Memphis within one win of moving into the Western Conference second round. If Griffin is unable to play in Game 6 Friday – and right now, no one is willing to say if there’s even a remote chance he will – the Clippers’ season may end just as the Lakers’ season ended Sunday night, with a quick exit. Two L.A. teams and neither one still in the playoffs? It could happen. Griffin, who left the game for good with 5 minutes 39 seconds left in the third quarter, tried to sound optimistic about playing Friday. But his mood was grim. “We have to wait and see,” he said. “It’s two days. It felt good enough at the beginning of the game but got worse as time went on, so hopefully with two days of rest and two days of treatment, I will be (ready).” Griffin admitted he wasn’t able to do the things he normally does on the court, but it might not have mattered anyway. Although Chris Paul matched his career playoff high with 35 points, the Grizzlies took control in the second quarter by playing with the same grit and resolve they did in winning Games 3 and 4 on their home floor. Essentially, they relied on the strong inside play of Zach Randolph, who got easy layups and tip-ins, and Marc Gasol, who scored six of his 21 points in the third quarter. Randolph had 25 points and 11 rebounds, including five offensive boards, and the Grizzlies scored 19 second-chance points. Memphis grabbed 42 rebounds to the Clippers’ 40, but it continued to control the offensive boards when it counted. The Grizzlies turned over the ball just seven times, none in the final period. “Again, rebounding won the game,” Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said.
Grizzlies stun Clippers 103-93 in LA to take 3-2 series lead, Griffin questionable
Fox Sports West | May 1