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No Tennessee waltz for Clippers in Game 3

Any thought of a sweep vanishes as the Grizzlies fight back on their home court with a 94-82 victory behind the inside play of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol.

April 25, 2013|By Broderick Turner
  • Clippers forward Blake Griffin tries to hold his ground on defense against Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph in the first half of Game 3 on Thursday night.
Clippers forward Blake Griffin tries to hold his ground on defense against… (Mike Brown / EPA )

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The stats don't lie.

And in the case of the Clippers, the statistics told so much about why they lost, 94-82, to the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 3 of the Western Conference first-round playoff series on Thursday night at the FedEx Forum.

The one statistic that now matters most to both teams is that the Clippers lead this best-of-seven series, 2-1. Game 4 is Saturday back here.

BOX SCORE: Grizzlies 94, Clippers 82

After the game, the Clippers had written down many of the stat lines on the grease board inside their locker room.

The Clippers were outrebounded for the first time in this series, 45-33. They gave up 17 offensive rebounds, more than they allowed in the first two games combined.

They turned the ball over a series-high 18 times, five by Chris Paul.

They were outscored in the paint, 40-26.

They gave up 22 second-chance points while scoring only four themselves.

They had only 14 assists and shot 38.8% from the field, the same as Memphis.

“It's uncharacteristic of us, especially me,” said Paul, who had a sub-par game with eight points on four-for-11 shooting and four assists. “I had five turnovers tonight. Our turnovers led to 17 of their points. They got offensive rebounds, things that we didn't let them do Game 1 and Game 2. We've just got to do better.”

The Clippers also had to deal with the dominance of Zach Randolph, who had 27 points and 11 rebounds. He also had six offensive rebounds and was nine for 10 from the free-throw line.

They had to contend with Marc Gasol, who had 16 points and eight rebounds.

“That's what we do. We wanted to play our game,” Randolph said himself and Gasol. “Tonight we focused on rebounding. We had 17 offensive rebounds. We got it in the post, high-low. I got shots in the inside. That's our game.”

It was a game the Clippers were unable to handle.

Blake Griffin had 16 points, but only two rebounds.

Jamal Crawford missed seven of his 10 shots in scoring 10 points.

Paul picked up all four of his fouls in the fourth quarter. He also was assessed a technical foul in the second quarter.

Griffin and Gasol were called for a double technical foul late in the game for trash-talking. They were also called for a double foul later in the fourth quarter, their third of the series after two during the regular season.

“It's a tough line to walk,” Griffin said about playing physical and not fouling. “Normally you kind of get a feel for it in the first quarter or the first couple of possessions. But for some reason it's been somewhat difficult to toe that line. A lot of double fouls. A lot of fouls down low.”

There was also one flagrant foul 1, which was called on Matt Barnes for hitting Randolph on the head. Randolph walked over to Barnes and touched heads.

Randolph made one of two free throws with 6:01 left for a 79-71 Memphis lead.

The Grizzlies got the ball back and struck again quickly.

Randolph found Quincy Pondexter (13 points) cutting for a layup while being fouled by Chauncey Billups.

Pondexter missed the free throw, but Memphis still lead by 10 points midway through the fourth quarter.

It was a lead that grew to 16 points, a lead the Clippers couldn't overcome.

“They came out very aggressive,” Paul said. “A lot of credit goes to their team. They played hard. They rebounded. They got to the line. We just never really recovered.”

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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