Grizzlies can’t stop draining threes and sink Clippers 113-104
In their three losses this season, the Clippers have suffered a similar fate.
They became stagnant on offense — again. They didn’t fully trust the offense — again. They didn’t move the basketball enough — again. They tried to win the game alone — again.
And in the process of again repeating the same ill-advised maneuvers, the Clippers dropped a 113-104 game to the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday afternoon at Staples Center in front of 14,777.
“We didn’t move the ball very well tonight,” coach Doc Rivers said. “I would say in the three losses, that’s been the theme. Obviously, defensively, we could have done a lot better. I thought we got beat off the dribble at the guard spot.
“But if I had one frustration, offensively in the three games that we’ve lost, it’s been the same theme. We kind of got stuck. The ball stays on one side of the floor. It’s not moving. We’re not playing downhill.”
The Clippers had only 18 assists on 38 field goals, a telltale sign of the ball staying still.
They shot only 15.4% (four of 26) from three-point range, another sign of the ball not moving enough to create open looks for their shooters.
They relied on Blake Griffin way too much to deliver for them, watching him score 30 points and grab 11 rebounds.
“So for our team, everybody needs to be involved. We’ve got a lot of guys standing around right now.”
The Grizzlies were the opposite.
They had seven players score in double figures. They had 21 assists on 40 field goals.
They made 41.9% (13 of 31) of their three-point shots.
Memphis’ guard core of Mike Conley, who had 22 points, and reserve Tyreke Evans, who had 20 points, were a big problem for the Clippers.
“We’re supposed to be an elite defensive group, our guards,” Austin Rivers, referring to himself and teammate Patrick Beverley, said. “Tonight we were terrible, especially me.”
From midway of the first quarter on, the Clippers were looking up at the Grizzlies.
The Clippers led once 7-6 in the first quarter. Otherwise, they kept trying to fight back, going down by 10 points in the decisive fourth.
When the Clippers made one last push, pulling to within six points on a Griffin dunk, Evans drove hard to his right, getting around Rivers and scoring before Jordan could make it over to defend.
Evans’ layup put the Clippers in a 108-100 hole they never climbed out of.
“They came out with the first punches, the second punches and we had a couple,” Austin Rivers said. “But it seemed like the whole night we were trying to get our rhythm or energy. I don’t want to use the word rhythm; our fight. We were trying to fight and they were already feeling it.”
Follow Broderick Turner on Twitter @BA_Turner
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