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Clippers-Grizzlies Game 6 preview: Staying alive

By Matt Moore | NBA writer
Chris Paul will try and take Game 6 on his shoulders. (Getty Images)


Previewing Clippers-Grizzlies Game 6.

1. Where We're At:
It's 3-2 headed back to Los Angeles. Both teams face a must-win under difficult conditions. The Grizzlies obviously have to stave off elimination on the road in a building they haven't gotten a win yet this postseason, after nearly finding their playoff exit off yet another fourth-quarter collapse in Game 5. The Clippers have to win Game 6 to avoid losing two straight to Memphis, all momentum, and facing trying to close out a series on the road having surrendered a 3-1 lead. Things get serious Friday night in Hollywood.

2. The Big Number: 35.7 percent. That's the Grizzlies' effective field goal percentage (or "eFG%" factoring three-point attempts) in the fourth quarter of this series. That's abysmal. If Memphis doesn't find a way to hit some shots in the fourth quarter, they're headed home for the summer.

3. Key Adjustment: Are we finally going to see Tony Allen in late-game situations against Chris Paul? Lionel Hollins has held Allen back, whether due to his sore knee or his need for offense, and Paul has made the Grizzlies pay. If it's a close game with the series on the line, you have to wonder if the Grizzlies' best isolation defender will stick with the Clippers' best isolation scorer.

4. The Big Story: The Clippers had some ... well, Clipper luck in Game 5 as both Blake Griffin and Chris Paul suffered second-half injuries which impacted them. Both are expected to start Game 6, but that's got to be something to keep your eye on.

5. The Facts: 9 p.m. EST tipoff. Blake Griffin and Chris Paul are both expected to play but are gametime decisions. Griffin suffered a hyperflexed knee in Game 5, while Paul suffered a hip flexor.
 
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