Instant Analysis: Grizzlies force Game 7 with 90-88 win over Clippers

LOS ANGELES -- A back-and-forth, sometimes thrilling and often ugly first-round series will be resolved the only way it should be: with a seventh game.

Behind 23 points and nine rebounds from Marc Gasol and 18 points and 16 rebounds from Zach Randolph, the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Los Angeles Clippers 90-88 Friday night to even their best-of-seven series at 3-3.

Game 7 is Sunday in Memphis, by virtue of the fact that Chris Paul was too injured to suit up for the Clippers' final game of the regular season, a loss to the Knicks.

Paul, hobbled by a groin injury, was limited to 11 points and seven assists -- scoring only one point in the fourth quarter and fouling out with 13 seconds left. Blake Griffin, visibly slowed by a knee injury, had 16 points, six assists and four rebounds for the Clippers. Eric Bledsoe had 14 points and five assists off the bench for the Clippers.

Trying to close out the series on their home floor, the Clippers squandered an eight-point lead with 8 1-2 minutes left and managed only eight points in the final 5 1-2 minutes. Randy Foye's 3-pointer in the closing seconds to narrow the deficit to two points was too little, too late.

The fourth-quarter meltdown didn't match the Grizzlies' collapse in Game 1 by any means, but it could wind up being more costly. The Clippers somehow managed only 15 field-goal attempts in the fourth quarter as the Grizzlies forced Game 7 despite committing 22 turnovers resulting in 17 points.





 
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