Clippers beat Memphis, move into three-way tie for 2nd in West

Clippers beat Grizzlies to move into a three-way tie for second place in the West with two games remaining

The Clippers beat the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday at Staples Center, 94-86.

With only two games remaining in the regular season, the Clippers are now in a three-way tie with the Grizzlies and the San Antonio Spurs for second place in the Western Conference.

The Clippers used an 8-2 run late in the fourth quarter to turn a one-point lead into a six-point advantage after J.J. Redick and Chris Paul made back-to-back three-pointers, followed by another made jumper by Paul on the Clippers' next possession with just under four minutes remaining.

That sequence electrified the team and the stadium, and the Grizzlies could never quite recover. The Clippers went up by as many as eight points in the final two minutes.

The Clippers have won five in a row and 12 of their last 13 games, losing only to the Golden State Warriors.

Blake Griffin had 18 points (though it took him 21 shots to get them) with seven rebounds and six assists. Redick had 18 points. DeAndre Jordan had 16 points, 16 rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots. Paul had 15 points and 14 assists.

The Grizzlies were playing without point guard Mike Conley (sore foot) and shooting guard/small forward Tony Allen (hamstring). Marc Gasol played only 10 minutes after getting an ankle retaped. They were led by Zach Randolph, who had 21 points, 13 rebounds and five assists.

The Clippers went on an 11-0 run midway through the third quarter to take their biggest lead of the game at 11 points, but the Grizzlies cut the deficit to one, 69-68, entering the fourth quarter.

It's always a chippy game when the two teams meet, given their postseason history. The Clippers beat the Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs in 2012, then the Grizzlies eliminated the Clippers in the first round in 2013. 

Griffin and Kosta Koufos got into a bit of a skirmish in the third quarter after Koufos pulled Griffin to the floor. Griffin landed on his back on top of Koufos, who landed on the floor on his back. Koufos then pushed Griffin off of him, and Griffin immediately turned around and grabbed Koufos' jersey. Both players were assessed technical fouls on the play.

The Clippers and the Grizzlies have split their games this season, the Grizzlies winning in Memphis on Nov. 23, 107-91, and at Staples Center on Feb. 23, 90-87. The Clippers then beat the Grizzlies at Memphis on Feb. 27, 97-79, and again Saturday.

In their final two games of the season, the Clippers host the Denver Nuggets on Monday before playing at Phoenix against the Suns on Tuesday.

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