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Grizzlies dominate Clippers in first quarter, 34-16

April 29, 2012|By Mike James
  • Lionel Hollins, shown earlier this seasson, had the team with the early edge Sunday.
Lionel Hollins, shown earlier this seasson, had the team with the early… (Danny Johnston / Associated…)

The Clippers, making their first appearance in the NBA playoffs since 2006, looked like it in the early going of Game 1 of their opening playoff series against Memphis, falling behind quickly and trailing the Grizzlies, 34-16, after the first quarter.

The Grizzlies shot 65%; the Clippers less than half that. It was at least as one-sided as the score indicated.

Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with 10 points. For the Clippers, Caron Butler made two three-pointers for six points, but no other Clipper had more than three points.

Memphis made its first five shots on the way to a 10-4  lead and seven of its first 10 to build a 15-6 lead that forced a Clippers timeout. That didn't work for L.A., which never got anything going in the first quarter.

The Clippers looked unsettled on offense, forcing shots from outside and unable to get the ball inside, and couldn't contain the Grizzlies on defense. With two minutes left in the quarter, Memphis was up, 30-12, and was shooting 68% to the Clippers 29%.

The Grizzlies led the league in steals this season, and forced four early turnovers in the quarter.

One question at the start was whether Chris Paul would be at full strength, having sat out the Clippers' last game of the regular season because of a strained groin. He wasn't a factor early and finished the quarter with one point, missing his three shots from the field and committing an offensive foul when he did try to create a shot near the end of the quarter.

The Clippers held a 2-1 edge over the Grizzlies during the regular season, winning both games played at Staples Center, but losing April 9 at Memphis, 94-85, after falling behind by 12 in the first two quarters. 

Before Sunday's game, Memphis was 26-7 at home this season; the Clippers 16-17 on the road.


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