- Category: Sports
Los Angeles Stuns Memphis
Crazy things happen in the playoffs, but what happened in Memphis in Game 1 between the Clippers and Grizzlies was beyond absurd. It was shocking. It was stunning. It was unbelievable. It was everything that make sports great. It was also historic.
For three straight quarters of basketball the Clippers were getting utterly dominated. Memphis owned the offensive glass, forced Los Angeles into a number of turnovers and drained three-point shot after three-point shot. Anyone watching the game would say it was flat out embarrassing the way the Clippers played, looking like a young team simply not ready for the bright lights of postseason play. After being down 19 at halftime and behind as many as 27 in the third quarter, Los Angeles was able to get the game within 21 points of Memphis as the teams went into the final quarter of play. That was when everything fell apart for the Grizzlies.
Seemingly content on playing half-hearted basketball to run the clock out, the Grizzlies aggressive defense and excellent ball sharing came to a screeching halt in the fourth quarter. They felt the game was beyond out of reach for their opponent, and played as though the final whistle had been blown. The only problem was the Clippers did not have any intention of simply rolling over and dying. What the Clippers wanted to do was fight back to show the Grizzlies that they would not be embarrassed on national television. The Clippers began forcing turnovers, running the fast break and playing playoff basketball.
As the Memphis offense struggled in the fourth quarter, the once massive lead began to dwindle. Looking to capitalize on Memphis' dwindling lead, the Clippers took their play to another level. Los Angeles hustled for every loose ball, and began getting stops on the defense front. They were losing, but had a steam of momentum that was apparent to everyone in the arena.
Then enter Nick Young.
In the span of literally a minute, reserve player Nick Young knocked down three huge 3-point shots. Memphis still led the game, but Los Angeles had a chance. They had a real chance to tie the NBA record for the largest fourth quarter deficit comeback win. The energy on the sideline of the Clippers was tangible. They could taste the win, and all-star guard Chris Paul was going to deliver it.
After knocking down two clutch free-throws to give Los Angeles their very first lead of the game, Paul made a stellar assist to Reggie Evans that felt like the nail in the coffin for Memphis. Every player on the Grizzlies looked like they had just seen a ghost. They blew a huge lead, and after Paul knocked down another pair of free-throws, the Grizzlies had only once chance to left to steal back the win.
The chance offered by Rudy Gay bounced off the front of the rim, ending the game and completing the historic comeback.
Crazy things happen in the postseason, and great things happen when a team doesn't give up. The Clippers never stopped fighting. They battled back to shock the NBA world. The only question that remains is if the Grizzlies can bounce back from such a painful, heartbreaking loss.