Rarely will you see a player enjoy an ejection -- much less an ejection from a playoff game -- as much as Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph seemed to savor the boot from referee Joey Crawford on Friday night.
With less than two minutes remaining in the Grizzlies' series-clinching 118-105 Game 6 win over the Clippers, Randolph was hit with his second technical foul, necessitating an automatic ejection. (Randolph's first technical came during a third-quarter wrestling match with Blake Griffin.)
The 12-year veteran received the bad news with a wide smile, throwing his head band into the sideline crowd, celebrating with teammate Tony Allen and then pirouetting a full 360 degrees to soak in the impending victory as he pranced off the court. Once he reached the tunnel, he dished out some high-fives after finishing with 23 points (on 8-for-12 shooting), five rebounds and four assists in a hard-fought, foul-filled contest.
Friday night's victory marked just the second time Randolph has advanced out of the first-round of the playoffs during his career. His Grizzlies will now look to do what they could not do in their 2011 run: take the next step and advance to the Western Conference finals. Memphis will travel to Oklahoma City for Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinals series on Sunday. The Thunder eliminated the Rockets in six games on Friday.