Memphis at Los Angeles

Clippers drop Iverson-less Grizzlies for third straight win

CBSSports.com wire reports
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LOS ANGELES -- The Clippers didn't have to face longtime tormentor Allen Iverson with the Memphis Grizzlies in town. That helped keep their modest winning streak alive - along with a missed 3-point shot by Rudy Gay at the final horn.

Chris Kaman had 26 points and nine rebounds, and Los Angeles beat Memphis 113-110 on Saturday night for its third straight victory - equaling the Clippers' longest winning streak of last season.

Craig Smith had 18 points for the Clippers, whose 19 wins last season included consecutive victories over Portland, Houston and Oklahoma City -- the first one coming in double overtime on the road. They then lost 15 of their next 17.

"We scraped it out tonight and we got some stops down the stretch," Kaman said. "It was good to get another win. We've just got to keep building on this. I'm happy where we're at right now, but we've got to continue to play hard and try to get some more wins."

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Allen Iverson has left the Memphis Grizzlies amid conflicting reports about whether it is for personal reasons or unhappiness with his role. Read more

Iverson, who has played in only three games for his new team after injuring a hamstring, received permission from team owner Michael Heisley to return home to Atlanta and attend to personal business.

Iverson's departure temporarily diverted his teammates' attention from the controversy the four-time NBA scoring champ and 10-time All-Star set in motion because of his new status as backup point guard on coach Lionel Hollins' 1-6 club.

According to a team spokesman, Iverson participated in a walkthrough at the team's hotel in the morning and then hopped a flight in the afternoon after he and personal manager Gary Moore met with Heisley. Hollins spoke to him briefly before he left, but would not elaborate on the conversation.

"It's a personal issue that they asked for permission to go attend to," Hollins said. "It was granted, and it's indefinite. I have no other information."

During a play stoppage with 3½ minutes left in the first quarter, a fan sitting within earshot of the Grizzlies bench yelled: "Hey, Lionel, we paid to see A.I."

"I understand star power, and that's to be expected," Hollins added. "I wouldn't mind even talking about Allen's star power if it was about the game and his performance during the game, versus what Allen has said and what he will or won't do."

Gay, who averaged 28.6 points in his three games against the Clippers last season, led Memphis in this one with 33. Marcus Williams jumped up a notch on the depth chart with Iverson away, getting seven points and six assists over 17 minutes. Starting point guard Mike Conley played 31 minutes, finishing with 16 points and six assists.

"It's tough when you have somebody in the rotation and get used to it, and then somebody goes out of the rotation," Conley said. "You have to get used to a whole different routine. But we have to adjust and get past it."

Zach Randolph, who averaged 20.5 points and 10.5 rebounds for the Clippers in 39 games last season after he was acquired from New York, had 19 points and 12 rebounds for Memphis in his return to Staples Center. Randolph was traded to the Grizzlies in July for Quentin Richardson -- who was subsequently dealt to Minnesota and then to Miami.

Tied at 82 after three quarters, the Grizzlies got a three-point play from Williams to take a 93-88 lead with 9:06 left. Baron Davis picked up his fifth foul on the play, but the Clippers tied the score 99-all with 5:33 remaining after Chris Smith made a pair of layups 19 seconds apart -- the second one after Randolph missed a 20-footer at the other end.

The Clippers made only one field goal after that - a 3-pointer by Rasual Butler with 3:13 left -- but maintained their lead by making 11 of 16 free throws. Gay had a chance to tie it, but missed a 23-footer at the horn.

"At that point, you've got to scramble and try to get a shot. And we did," Hollins said. "It was the best look we could get -- a wide-open 3-pointer. And it was the guy we wanted.

"I just told the guys it's the little things that separate winning and losing. We had our chances to make plays, but we had some turnovers and a couple of lapses on defense. In close games, you try to take advantage of your possessions. You've got to keep pounding it and grinding it until you get when you want."

Notes

  • Clippers small forward Al Thornton, who scored a career-high 39 points against the Grizzlies on March 28, 2008, came off the bench for the third straight game after starting the first four as a starter in the first four games of the season. He finished with six points in 17 minutes, after playing four scoreless minutes in Friday night's 118-90 win at Golden State. Thornton started 67 of 71 games last season.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
 
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Chris Kaman gives the Clippers a major lift as he adds 26 points and nine boards in the winning effort.  (AP)
Chris Kaman gives the Clippers a major lift as he adds 26 points and nine boards in the winning effort. (AP)

Scoreboard
Memphis (1-6) 29312228110
L.A. Clippers (3-4) «23322731113
MEM:R. Gay 33 Pts
MEM:M. Gasol 13 Reb
MEM:M. Conley 6 Ast
LAC:C. Kaman 26 Pts
LAC:C. Kaman 9 Reb
LAC:E. Gordon 6 Ast
Players of the Game
Los AngelesMemphis

C. Kaman

R. Gay
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
26943362
Memphis
R. Gay, SG4111-2011-1362433
M. Gasol, C374-102-2131410
O. Mayo, SG374-120-07458
Z. Randolph, PF366-177-9125119
M. Conley, PG326-133-506116
M. Williams, PG163-51-10617
D. Carroll, SF155-60-022410
S. Young, SF151-52-22015
H. Thabeet, C111-10-03022
M. Jaric, SFDid Not Play
S. Hunter, PFDid Not Play
D. Arthur, PFDid Not Play
H. Haddadi, CDid Not Play
A. Iverson, SGDid Not Play
Totals 41-8926-32452623110
 46.1%81.2% 
Los Angeles
E. Gordon, SG415-122-226115
C. Kaman, C398-1610-1294326
R. Butler, SG396-173-571417
B. Davis, PG275-95-655515
M. Camby, C272-62-64536
C. Smith, PF238-111-251318
S. Telfair, PG214-80-03508
A. Thornton, SF163-40-00126
D. Jordan, C71-10-00012
R. Davis, SGDid Not Play
B. Skinner, PFDid Not Play
K. Rush, SGDid Not Play
S. Novak, SFDid Not Play
M. Collins, PGDid Not Play
B. Griffin, PFDid Not Play
Totals 42-8423-33352822113
 50.0%69.7% 
Other Games
Den 100 Final
Atl 125
Bos 86 Final
NJ 76
Char 90 Final
Chi 93
Tor 101 Final
Dal 129
NY 87 Final
Mil 102
Sac 104 Final
Utah 99