Clippers crush Grizz to end 3-game skid

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 24, 2012
Blake Griffin had 20 points and 10 rebounds, fellow All-Star Chris Paul had 19 points and 13 assists, and the Los Angeles Clippers ended their first three-game losing streak of the season with a dominating 101-85 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday. Randy Foye added 18 points for the Clippers, who are three games behind the Lakers for the Pacific Division lead. They began a stretch of five home games in eight days. Reserve point guard Mo Williams missed the game because of a sprained big toe on his left foot, which occurred early in the fourth quarter of Thursday night's loss at New Orleans. X-rays were negative, and an MRI showed no significant damage. But coach Vinny Del Negro said about 1 1/2 hours before tipoff that Williams would not be back in the lineup any time soon. Zach Randolph had 14 points and eight rebounds for the Grizzlies, who have lost six of eight after an 11-2 stretch. Point guard Mike Conley had nine points and nine assists during a foul-plagued 22 minutes. Rudy Gay helped Memphis rally in the third quarter, making a 3-pointer to trim the Clippers' lead to 61-51. But that was as close as the Grizzlies got. The Clippers responded with a 16-4 run highlighted by Randy Foye's pair of 3-pointers 43 seconds apart, increasing the margin to 77-55 with 3:13 left in the quarter. Former Southern California star O.J. Mayo was called for a flagrant 1 foul on Griffin as he drove the lane to get a bounce pass from Paul with 48.3 seconds left in the third and the Clippers leading 79-60. Griffin missed both free throws, but it hardly mattered at that point, and Del Negro rested him and Paul during the final 8 minutes. Griffin, Paul and Caron Butler all scored in double figures in the first half to help Los Angeles build a 56-42 lead. Bobby Simmons, who was re-signed by the Clippers on Saturday - six days after his second 10-day contract with the club expired - beat the first-quarter buzzer with a 3-pointer that capped a 12-0 run and made it 33-17. NOTES: Griffin, who was 8 for 12 on free throws, is still shooting a measly 60.9 percent from the line in 130 NBA games. The most foul shots he has made in a game without a miss was six, on three occasions last season. ... Del Negro met with general manager Neil Olshey after the Clippers returned home from their 0-3 road trip - but would not share details of the conversation. ... Randolph and Clippers C DeAndre Jordan got through the entire game without committing a turnover. Randolph played 37 minutes, Jordan 34. ... After this homestand, the Clippers will play nine of their final 14 regular-season games on the road. ... The Clippers have beaten Memphis four straight times, including a 98-91 decision on Jan. 26 at Los Angeles. ... The Clippers are 20-4 when allowing no more than 95 points. ... Paul has at least one steal in 52 consecutive games, the league's longest active streak. ... The Grizzlies converted 11 Los Angeles turnovers into 16 points. The Clippers came in averaging 13.4 turnovers, second-fewest in the league behind Philadelphia (10.8).
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