NBA Playoffs 2012: Clippers bench clinches series, draws Spurs

By Quixem Ramirez

May 13, 2012; Memphis, TN, USA; Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin (32) gestures to point guard Chris Paul (3) during the first half of game seven in the Western Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedEx Forum. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE

In the Clippers’ pivotal Game 7 victory, it was not Blake Griffin or Chris Paul that led the team to victory.

The Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Memphis Grizzlies by 10 points in Game 7 of their taut, physically draining series.

Interestingly, though, it wasn’t Blake Griffin or Chris Paul that spurred the Clippers to an unlikely victory on the road, a place where Memphis won 28 games (including playoffs). Instead it was the likes of Eric Bledsoe, Reggie Evans, Kenyon Martin and Nick Young who played some of their best basketball in the most critical game of any playoff series, a Game 7.

In total, the Clippers’ bench combined for 41 points on 50 percent shooting while the starters also combined for 41 points albeit on a considerably less efficient 31.3 percent shooting.

The Clippers also benefited from a rather untimely performance, collectively, from the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies shot 32.5 percent from the field with only 12 assists for the game. O.J. Mayo, especially, turned in one of his biggest duds of his career with a 9.1 shooting percentage on 11 shots. Marc Gasol played admirably — Gasol averaged 15.1 points, 6.7 rebounds with 52.2 percent shooting for the series — and Rudy Gay nearly notched a double-double with 19 points and nine rebounds.

Other than that, however, the Grizzlies received little from anyone else. The bench scored 11 points and the team attempted 13 3-pointers without converting one.

With the victory, the Clippers will face the San Antonio Spurs on short notice; Game 1 tips on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. CST. The Clippers are 1-2 against the Spurs this season.