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Grizzlies oust Clippers in six games
Memphis, TN (Sports Network) - The Memphis Grizzlies earned some payback this postseason by sending the Los Angeles Clippers home early.
The Grizzlies used a balanced attack in a physical Game 6 to come away with their fourth straight victory in the Western Conference quarterfinals, a 118-105 decision thanks to seven double-digit scorers and their ability to get to the foul line.
Mike Conley and Zach Randolph each scored 23 points, while Tony Allen filled the stat sheet with 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists for fifth-seeded Memphis, which will play the West's top seed, the Oklahoma City Thunder, starting on Sunday after they finished off the Houston Rockets on Friday.
The Grizzlies, who lost as a No. 4 seed to Los Angeles in last year's first round, became the 16th team in NBA history to rally from an 0-2 deficit and win a seven-game series and the 10th to finish it off in Game 6.
"I was never in desperate thoughts down 0-2. Our guys just rose up and showed the discipline they showed all year," Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said.
Chris Paul paced the fourth-seeded Clippers with 28 points and eight assists, but was ejected with 2:29 remaining in the game after receiving his second technical foul for throwing a cheap shot into Marc Gasol's abdomen.
Matt Barnes stepped up with Blake Griffin limited due to a high ankle sprain and put in 30 points on 11-of-14 shooting, but Los Angeles could not stop the suddenly-clicking Grizzlies.
Memphis earned its way to the foul line 47 times and shot 15-of-20 from the foul line in the first quarter alone en route to a 29-26 lead.
Barnes and Paul kept the Clippers close, with the former hitting 6-of-6 from the field, including four 3-pointers, for a surprising 18 points in the first half. His triple with just over five minutes left in the second gave the Clippers their first and only lead at 45-44.
Paul capped his 16-point half with a driving bucket in the closing seconds, but Memphis was in the midst of a 23-8 run spanning the second and third quarters to turn a tie game in its favor.
Conley led the way with eight points during the surge. He sank two free throws after Chauncey Billups hooked him around the neck and took him to the hardwood for a Flagrant 1 foul, then drained a 3-pointer for a 74-59 Memphis lead with 7:13 remaining in the third.
Randolph was hit with a technical foul when he and Griffin got tangled up and went to the floor, and the play momentarily stalled the Grizzlies' momentum, as Los Angeles clawed to within 85-79 in the final minute of the third.
In the final 38.6 seconds, however, Memphis regained its double-digit cushion, with Quincy Pondexter draining a 3-pointer, Gasol hitting a rainbow jumper, and Jerryd Bayless beating the clock with a 22-footer after Grant Hill was whistled for a moving pick in the backcourt.
The closest the Clippers got in the fourth was 103-97 after Caron Butler connected on a stepback jumper with 5:15 to go. Billups turned the ball over on the next possession, and Conley and Bayless answered with consecutive 3- pointers.
"That got the crowd back into the game and we never made a big run after that," said Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro, who led the team to its first Pacific Division title this season.
Randolph connected on a turnaround jumper the next time down for a 111-99 game, and even though he too was hit with his second technical foul down the stretch, it did little to silence the excitement at FedExForum.
Memphis scored over 100 points in each of the last three games of the series and improved to 26-1 this season when doing so ... This is Memphis' second ever playoff series win, the other coming in the first round against San Antonio two years ago ... Bayless finished with 18 points ... Griffin did not start and totaled nine points and three rebounds in just 14 minutes ... Memphis shot 38-of-47 from the foul line, compared the Los Angeles' 16-of-24 effort at the stripe.
05/04 02:18:57 ET