Conley, Grizzlies hold off Clippers
LOS ANGELES, USA – Mike Conley had a crucial steal in the final seconds then sank two free throws with 1.5 seconds left on the clock as Memphis edged the Los Angeles Clippers 90-87 on Monday, February 23 (Tuesday in Manila).
Conley, who finished with 18 points and 7 assists, forced Clippers star Chris Paul to turn the ball over with 3 seconds remaining to seal the win for the Grizzlies.
Jeff Green tallied 16 points and 6 rebounds and Marc Gasol added 14 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks for Memphis, who have won 4 of their last 5 contests.
"We were sluggish in the beginning, but we did a better job in the second half," said Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger.
Paul finished with 30 points and 10 assists but allowed Conley to poke the ball away from him with the game on the line. DeAndre Jordan finished with 17 rebounds for the Clippers, which had its 4-game winning streak snapped.
"We gave ourselves a chance, it comes down to execution and I didn't execute on that last play," Paul said.
Paul made a layup to pull the Clippers within 83-80 with over 3 minutes left. Conley then banked in a field goal and Courtney Lee drained a three pointer to give Memphis an 88-80 lead with 2:28 to go. It was the Grizzlies' largest lead of the contest.
Los Angeles went on a 7-0 surge to get back in it.
Paul sunk a pair of foul shots, J.J. Redick nailed one from beyond the arc and Paul hit a jump shot with 70 seconds left to cut the deficit to 88-87.
Zach Randolph missed a left wing jumper and Redick corralled the rebound with just over 15 seconds.
Paul then turned the ball over and Conley went on to hit two free throws to increase the lead to 90-87. The Clippers also turned the ball over on their final possession.
The Clippers led 22-21 at the end of the first quarter and 44-38 at halftime. – Rappler.com