The Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Los Angeles Clippers after a flurry of critical mental errors in the fourth quarter prevented the Clippers from clinching the series on their home court.
Although the Clippers scored 17 points on 20 Grizzlies turnovers, they managed to unravel in the fourth quarter in grand fashion. First, Caron Butler and Randy Foye failed to communicate, resulting in another Memphis possession after two consecutive misses from Tony Allen. Then, after a Foye 3-pointer, they didn’t foul Mike Conley in the final seconds that would have given them one last chance at winning in regulation or forcing overtime. Timeout management was also a little curious; Vinny Del Negro wasted a timeout to call a Chris Paul isolation on a dead ball.
Neither team was especially efficient offensively. The team that did win, however, simply prevented mistakes and benefited from a healthy roster, some impressive interior passing and timely buckets. The win certainly wasn’t flashy but against a reeling Clippers team, the Grizzlies will gladly take their two point victory and home court advantage in Game 7.
By sheer attrition, the Grizzlies seem to be the definitive favorite going into Sunday’s finale. Their frontcourt tandem is developing a nice rapport, Rudy Gay has shown that he can control the offense when necessary and Ryan Hollins gives them a nearly insurmountable edge over Del Negro. For a team down 3-1 a couple of days ago, this is exactly where they want to be.