(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Clippers return home Tuesday night all tied
with the Memphis Grizzlies in their Western Conference quarterfinal series.
The Clippers dropped both games in Memphis and it's now a three-game series.
"They responded," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said Monday. "Now it's our
chance to respond. We have home court advantage. We have to protect that. But
we can't worry about anything other than (Tuesday) and taking care of that."
In Game 4 on Saturday, the Clippers were only down four at the start of the
final frame, but the Grizzlies squashed them, 33-16 in the period, for the
easy 104-83 win.
"We didn't put ourselves in a position to win the game," said Del Negro.
"We're four points, five points (behind) in both games in the fourth quarter
and those are obviously attainable and we weren't able to execute in the
fourth which we're usually pretty good at."
Los Angeles was lead by its two superstars -- Blake Griffin and Chris Paul.
Both had 19 points in Game 4 and Jamal Crawford chipped in 12 points off the
Now, the series returns to the Staples Center, where the Clippers won the
first two games.
"That's why you fight so hard for home court advantage," said Paul. "We have
to come out with the same intensity in Game 5 that we did in 1 and 2 and
understand that now it's a three-game series. We've got to play hard and play
the way we know we can."
The Grizzlies enjoyed a balanced attack on Saturday. Six Memphis players,
including all five starters, scored in double figures.
"Our team played extremely well. They played hard," said Grizzlies head coach
Lionel Hollins. "Everybody played to the max. We were able to get a win. I am
happy when individuals play well, but as I said it's about the win."
The Memphis big men, the strength of this team, were sensational on Saturday.
Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, the NBA Defensive Player of the Year, both had
24 points. Gasol added 13 rebounds and three blocks, while Randolph pulled
down nine boards.
Tayshaun Prince, who has not had a good series offensively, and Mike Conley
both had 15 points. Tony Allen and Quincy Pondexter, who spent a chunk of time
guarding Paul in Game 4, had 10 apiece.
Memphis is well aware the task at hand is a tough one. Despite having the
second-most road wins in the Western Conference, the Grizzlies need to win at
least one game in LA in order to advance.
"I said we got to go get a win when the crowds are not roaring in our ears,"
said Hollins. "We got to keep playing and playing well. That's how you win the
series, but the series starts again. They won their first two, we won our two,
now we go out there and we try to get a win in LA."
Game 6 is scheduled for Friday in Memphis.
The Sports Network