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Randy Foye steps into third scorer role in Clippers win

The Clippers don't have a reliable No. 3 scorer after Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. But Randy Foye provided that offense Saturday to help the Clippers take a 2-1 series lead over Memphis.

May 05, 2012|By Baxter Holmes

There are two steady stat lines in Clippers box scores this season.

They belong to Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.

Their postgame totals are reliably plump with double-digit points, but on a given night, it's unknown who — if anyone — will step up to be the third scorer the Clippers need to win. And in the playoffs, issues like that are magnified, making a third scorer — and one who can stretch the floor — especially crucial for the Clippers.

But in the Clippers' 87-86 win over Memphis on Saturday, guard Randy Foye provided the additional offense his team needed (16 points) precisely when it needed it most (late).

With 3 minutes 17 seconds left in the fourth quarter and the Clippers down by three, Foye hit a three-point shot that caused the raucous, sea-of-red, sell-out crowd at Staples Center, where the Clippers will return for Game 4 on Monday, to erupt.

Up to that point, the Clippers had trailed for most of the second half.

After it, they never trailed again. And they left the building with a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series in the Western Conference first-round playoff.

"That's not the first shot Randy has hit all season that's been big," guard Eric Bledsoe said. "Randy has ice in his veins."

Aside from Paul, who scored 24, and Griffin, who had 17, Foye was the only other Clippers player in double figures.

"We've got so many people that can make shots," Foye said. "Blake and CP are obviously the one-two punch, but then you just play your role."

Foye said he hasn't had many good looks in the first two games against Memphis.

"But [Saturday], I got some open ones," he said.

He made six of his nine shots, including four of five from beyond the arc.

It's troubling to some, including the Clippers, that the team doesn't have a consistent third scorer, someone who can pour in points and help take pressure off the always-hounded duo of Griffin and Paul.

Foye doesn't see it like that.

He takes the glass-is-half-full approach, viewing his team as more dangerous because that third scorer might be anyone — Nick Young, Mo Williams, Eric Bledsoe, etc. — and although a defense can stop one, it can't stop them all.

Foye's performance proved that, as he said he just took what the defense gave him.

Which turned out to be enough open looks for him to do long-range damage.

"We know what they're going to do," Foye said. "We've just got to be ready to counter-punch when they play them a certain way."

Foye provided the Clippers' counter-punch Saturday, and it swung momentum and left Memphis staggering.

If the Clippers can have two more games with similar results, they'll knock the Grizzlies out.

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