Chris Paul leads Clippers past Grizzlies 110-84
LOS ANGELES (AP) Facing a historic game to end the regular season, the Memphis Grizzlies struggled against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Chris Paul had 12 points and 13 assists and the Clippers extended the Grizzlies' freefall to the final night of the NBA's regular season, defeating Memphis 110-84 Tuesday night.
''Yeah, the emotional tank is a little bit empty right now,'' Memphis Coach David Joerger said.
''You also know that sitting out there 24 hours you've got a chance to be the answer on every Trivial Pursuit card for the next 75 years. We'll see what we're going to do with that tomorrow.''
The Grizzlies, who lost for the ninth time in 10 games, finish the season Wednesday night at Golden State, where the Warriors will be going for their NBA-record 73rd victory.
''They're chasing history,'' Memphis forward Matt Barnes said. ''We have a chance to interrupt history. Playing in Golden State, I know how alive that crowd is going to be, and I'm going to be very excited to be part of that game.''
Having seen his injury-riddled team fight for its playoff hopes for the past two months, Joerger expects the Grizzlies to rise to the occasion against the Warriors.
''It's for history, baby,'' Joerger said. ''We're going to give it our best shot.''
Losing for the ninth time in 10 games, Memphis dropped into a tie with the Dallas Mavericks for sixth place in the Western Conference.
The Mavericks also have one game remaining, at home against San Antonio.
Austin Rivers scored 14 points for the Clippers, who shot 55 percent and outscored Memphis 22-6 in fast-break points as they posted their 10th win in 11 games.
''You can see how focused we have been,'' Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. ''We are starting to take away individual strengths. Our talk is better. I love the way we're playing defense right now.''
Jeff Green scored 13 points and Blake Griffin added 12. DeAndre Jordan grabbed 12 rebounds.
''Our chemistry is great,'' Green said. ''It's getting better and better with each game. We need to keep progressing. The playoffs are right around the corner, and we need to be focused and ready.''
Zach Randolph scored 14 points, and Jarrell Martin added 12 for the Grizzlies, who've lost three in a row.
The Clippers, who never trailed, took control with an 18-5 run in the second quarter, opening a 54-35 lead on Green's lay-in with 3:27 left in the half.
Los Angeles made 13 of 18 shots in the second quarter to lead 61-43 at the half. Memphis made just 9 of 26 in the quarter.
If the Grizzlies and Mavericks finish the regular season tied, Dallas would finish sixth, Memphis seventh. Dallas won the season series with the Grizzlies 3-1.
The sixth-place finisher in the Western Conference opens the playoffs against Oklahoma City. The seventh-place finisher will meet San Antonio in the first round.
After Wednesday night's game at Golden State, the Grizzlies will open the playoffs on the road. They packed for four games away from Memphis.
''We know we're going be on the road for the first one,'' Memphis coach Dave Joerger said. ''So we're sitting there at Golden State going, OK, if we play Saturday do we go to this place? If we play Sunday maybe we sneak home for a day or two.''
With a meaningless game against Phoenix to end the regular season, Doc Rivers plans to rest a number of key players Wednesday night.
''We'll figure it out after the game,'' Rivers said. ''As a group we'll talk about it, but there will be several guys missing for sure. Maybe even some coaches.''
Memphis: Tony Allen missed his second consecutive game with a sore left hamstring. Vince Carter started his second game of the season. The Grizzlies shot 38 percent as they fell behind 61-43 in the first half.
Los Angeles: Doc Rivers rested Jamal Crawford with plans to play him Wednesday night against Phoenix. J.J. Redick tied his franchise record for 3-pointers, which he set last year, with his 200th of the season with 4:59 left in the first half. Redick suffered a left heel contusion late in the second quarter, and did not play in the second half.
Memphis: At Golden State Wednesday night.
Los Angeles: At Phoenix Wednesday night.