The LA Clippers turned in their worst performance of the season Wednesday night, losing 111-107 to a Memphis Grizzlies team that they had beaten less than two weeks before at FedEx Forum.
Perhaps the most disappointing part of the loss for the Clippers is the fact that they lost the game twice.
Memphis PG Mike Conley, who dropped a season-high 30 points on 9-20 FGs in the November 9th Clippers win at Memphis, matched his season-high with 30 more points. This time, Conley needed only 12 shots from the field to get his points, becoming the first player since LeBron James in 2013 to drop at least 30 points on the Clippers with no more than 12 shots:
12 of Conley’s points came in the 2nd quarter, where Conley made all 4 of his attempts from the field and the Grizzlies outscored the Clippers 35-18. It was the worst quarter of the season for the Clippers, wasting a 15-point 1st quarter from PF Blake Griffin. The bench was missing SF Wesley Johnson (heel) again, and the Raymond Felton-Austin Rivers-Jamal Crawford-Brandon Bass-Marreese Speights lineup was outscored by 10 points in only 5 2nd quarter minutes.
But the Clippers clawed all the way back from the 61-46 halftime deficit, with Memphis SF Chandler Parsons missing the 2nd half. Speights made a jumper while drawing a foul to tie the game at 85 with 9:28 left in the 4th quarter, SG J.J. Redick made his 7th three of the 2nd half to put the Clippers up 101-100 with 3:28 left, and PG Chris Paul hit a pull-up with 1:03 left to give the Clippers their final lead of the game at 107-105.
The Clippers never scored again, reminiscent of their late game difficulties at home on a Wednesday two weeks earlier against the Thunder.
After Memphis SG James Ennis split a pair of FTs, the Clippers had the ball coming out of a :20 timeout with a 107-106 lead and 26.3 left on the clock. But Crawford had what was only the 7th turnover of the game for the Clippers, allowing Memphis to call a :20 with 23.1 seconds left. That’s when this happened:
— Marc Gasol (@MarcGasol) November 17, 2016
The Clippers had another chance, but Conley stole the ball from Redick and iced the game with 2 FTs to stop LA’s win streak at 7 games. The Clippers gave up a season-high points, allowing over 100 for the 3rd time in 4 games. This after holding the previous 7 opponents under 100 points.
“A lot of credit goes to them,” said Paul, who shot a season-low 3-of-11 (27.3 percent) from the field to tie a season-low 9 points. “They played hard, played well, and shot lights out from the three. We have to be better. They are not known for offense and we gave them an explosive offensive night. Our defense was not where it should have been. You have to give them credit.”
Griffin, who finished with 25 points but maddeningly attempted only 2 shots in the 4th quarter, believes the game was lost in the 1st half despite the comeback.
“I was happier with how we played in the second half. It is encouraging that we can be down and fly back in it like that. We lost the game in the first half. We put ourselves in a big hole. We have to correct that,” Griffin said.