Grizzlies Force Game 6 against Clippers in NBA Series
The Memphis Grizzlies defeated Los Angeles to stave off elimination as they posted a 92-80 win over the Clippers who were given a scare when star Blake Griffin appeared to hurt his knee.
The tightly contested first round Western Conference series now goes back to Los Angeles for game six on Friday where the Grizzlies will try to send it to a game seven.
"We did a good job of executing and playing defense down the stretch," said Memphis center Marc Gasol. "My teammates were looking for me and once I got the ball I just took it to the basket.
"Now we will go back to LA and get ready for a battle."
Gasol had 23 points, Zach Randolph added 19 and 10 rebounds and Rudy Gay finished with 14 points for the Grizzlies, who trail in the series three games to two.
Mo Williams scored 20 points for the Clippers who last won a playoff series in 2006, when they defeated the Denver Nuggets in the first round. The Clippers haven't been to the playoffs since.
The Grizzlies led by as many as 24 points before the Clippers rallied to cut it to single digits late in the fourth. Memphis squandered a 27-point lead in game one.
But Memphis managed to hold on Wednesday, closing the game on an 11-5 run.
Chris Paul scored 19 for the Clippers but re-aggravated a groin injury late in the game.
Griffin, who had 15 points and 11 rebounds, hurt his left knee when he was fouled on a drive to the basket in the second half.
After being helped off the floor he came back briefly to shoot some free throws then sat down again. Griffin re-entered the game with Memphis leading 79-69 with nine minutes left in the fourth.
"Tonight was one of them nights," said Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro. "Blake twisted his knee and Chris hurt his groin, but they are going to be fine."
History is on the Clippers' side as only eight NBA teams have rallied to win a series after trailing 3-1 with the most recent being Phoenix who came back to beat the Los Angeles Lakers in 2006.