Clippers hope to make a statement at home against Grizzlies

All of the Clippers said that it was a good thing to return home to Los Angeles on Thursday tied at 1-1 in the best-of-seven first-round series against the Memphis Grizzlies.

But still, the Clippers wanted more, and thought they let an opportunity to win Game 2 on Wednesday night slip away.

“We did what we were supposed to do, yeah, win one game,” guard Chris Paul said after Game 2. “But I felt like we could have got two. Now we’ve got to go back home and take care of two.”

The Clippers did not practice Thursday.

Game 3 is Saturday afternoon at Staples Center and Game 4 is Monday night also at home.

The Clippers have an opportunity to see whether they can win both games and put more pressure on the Grizzlies.

“We’ve got two games and we’re going to make a statement,” forward Blake Griffin said.

One statement Griffin and the Clippers hope to make is to stand up to Memphis’ physical play.

The Clippers said they will have to push, shove and muscle their opponents, just as Zach Randolph, Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol, Tony Allen and the rest of the Grizzlies did to them in Memphis.

“It was a pretty physical game,” Griffin said about Game 2. “But we’ve got to do a better job of taking that physicality to them.”

TNT NBA analyst Charles Barkley questioned whether the Clippers can stand up to Memphis’ physical style.

“Other than Kenyon Martin, they are not a physical team,” Barkley said Wednesday night on TNT. “If I was coaching the Grizzlies, I would say, ‘We are not letting them dunk.’ They want to get ‘the play of the day.’ They don’t want to be rough and tumble.”

But Barkley said he looks forward to watching the Clippers and Grizzlies play.

Memphis was the fourth-seeded team in the West and the Clippers the fifth.

“This is going to be a seven-game series,” Barkley said. “These two teams are evenly matched. This is going to be a great series.”

Turnover troubles

The Clippers have turned the ball over at an alarming rate against Memphis’ pressure defense.

The Clippers have 39 turnovers through the first two games — an average of 19.5 per game. During the regular season, the Clippers turned the ball over only 12.3 times per game, the second-lowest in the NBA.

Paul had nine turnovers in the first two games — and that also is out of character for the All-Star point guard.

Paul was second in the NBA in assists-to-turnover ratio during the regular season.

But Memphis, which has 25 turnovers through the first two games, was first in steals (9.5) and forced turnovers (17.1) during the season.

“Some of them were just bad passes,” Paul said of the turnovers. “But when you’re getting in the lane and it’s the playoffs, they’re [the officials] going to let you play and they’re going to let them grab and hold and stuff like that. So I’ve got to do a better job and figure out how to get them off of me.”


Mo Williams (bruised right forearm), Eric Bledsoe (bruised left elbow) and Nick Young (sprained right thumb) will continue to get treatment and are expected to play Saturday.