Clippers’ Reggie Evans and Kenyon Martin provide a spark

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — When Reggie Evans and Kenyon Martin come off the bench against the Memphis Grizzlies, the tone for the Clippers seems to change for the better.

Evans and Martin play a more physical style of defense than the Clippers’ starting frontcourt players, DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin.

“Reggie and Kenyon have experience, and they are physical guys,” Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said. “They feed off each other very well. They talk on defense. Our offense changes, obviously, a little bit in what we have to do. But they both gives us rebounding and a physical edge.”

Evans, at 6 feet 8, 245 pounds, is a rugged defender and a tough rebounder. Martin, at 6-9, 240 pounds, is quick enough to defend small forwards and has the strength to guard power forwards and centers.

In the first five games of the first-round series, both have been effective.

“Reggie and Kenyon have been a big part of us being up now,” Del Negro said.

Hollins backpedals

In an interview on TNT during a timeout in Monday night’s Game 4 at Staples Center, Memphis Coach Lionel Hollins accused Chris Paul of flopping.

On Wednesday, at the Grizzlies’ shoot-around before Game 5 at the FedEx Forum, Hollins retracted that comment.

“Let me clarify that,” Hollins said. “Flopping was the wrong word. Kobe Bryant is good at drawing fouls, and Chris Paul falls in that category. Flopping was the wrong word to use. It was just at that moment I couldn’t think of a better word.

"… He’s good at drawing fouls, putting you in positions where you’ll get behind him and he’ll see you and he’ll stop and make you run into him. Chris is just a great player.”

Del Negro said Paul doesn’t flop, and neither does Griffin, another Clipper who has been accused of doing so.

“I think Chris is smart about how he uses his body,” Del Negro said. “So I think it’s way overblown. Is it an issue in the league overall? Yeah, probably.”

Griffin takes a pounding

Going up against the Grizzlies has been a physical grind on Griffin, the Clippers’ All-Star power forward.

Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, Marreese Speights and Dante Cunningham have taken turns pounding on Griffin in an attempt to slow him down.

Griffin said before Wednesday night’s game that he was feeling “not bad.”

"[I feel] better than I did in March when we were going through that stretch of games,” said Griffin, referring to a period of 20 games in 31 days that month. “But these games take a lot out of you.

“The good thing about it is they have to play them just like we do.”