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List of Articles by Joan Secuya-Medida



NBA WEST -- Clippers steal Game 7, move to 2nd round

By Joan Secuya-Medida
PhilBoxing.com
14 May 2012



LOS ANGELES -- After blowing two chances, the LA Clippers finally got the job done and knocked out the Memphis Grizzlies, 82-72, in Game 7 of their Round 1 series Sunday afternoon at the FedEx Forum in Memphis.

Up 3-1 in the tightly-fought showdown between No. 4 (Memphis) and No.5 seeds (LA), the Clippers lost Games 5 and 6, setting the stage for the winner-take-all finale. And with their 1-2 punch Chris Paul (strained hip flexor) and Blake Griffin (sprained left knee) slowed down by injuries, the outlook didn't look good for the Clippers.

But the Clippers bench saved the day with a 41-point outburst that helped secure the stunning upset. Kenyon Martin dropped seven of his 11 points in the fourth quarter, where LA outscored the Grizzlies 27-16 after trailing by one entering the final stanza.

The dramatic road victory marked only the third tme in 41 years that the Clippers clinched a series. Once the laughing stock of the NBA, the Clips have surged as a respectable franchise with two superstars and a formidable cast of reserves.

"Our bench was our MVP. They realized what they had to do. We had a lot of guys hurt, so we just continued to grind," Clippers starting guard Randy Foye told the Associated Press.

In contrast, the usually reliable Memphis bench was a monumental disappointment and Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins pointed that out saying,"Unfortunately, no one on the bench stepped up and helped us."

Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol had 19 points each for the vanquished Grizzlies, but Memphis struggled immensely on offense and made just 25-of-77 shots for a franchise playoffs low of 32.5 percent.

The Grizzlies missed all 13 of their 3-point shots and they were 22-of-31 from the free throw line. The Clippers, meanwhile, made 4-of-17 threes and converted 18-of-23 free throws.

Although the achy hip diminished his ability to blow by people, Paul said, it didn't stop him from scoring 19 points to lead the Clippers. The 4-time All-Star also logged nine rebounds, four assists and two steals.

LA sank only 30 of 78 field goals (38.5 percent) but they pounded the boards 46-42 against the bigger Grizzlies. Nick Young finished with 13 for the Clips while Caron Butler and Blake Grififin, who played for just 28 minutes, had eight points apiece.

Through to the second round, the Clippers will face the well-rested and No.1 seeded San Antonio Spurs, who swept the Utah Jazz in their Round 1 series. Game 1 of that Western Conference semifinal opens Tuesday night at the AT@T Center in San Antonio. (Joan Secuya-Medida)


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