NBA Roundtable

2012 NBA Playoffs Game 7: Memphis vs LA Clippers

In 2012 NBA Playoffs, Game Log / Recap on May 13, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Game Seven

First Quarter

  • Jeff Van Gundy – “It’s hard to win when you do dumb things” and fouling Tony Allen on a pull-up jumper from that range (right elbow) is a dumb thing. Tony Allen has scored the first five points for the Grizzlies. A free throw from that foul, a transition layup after a miscue between Paul and Griffin and finally a cutting layup after the pass from Marc Gasol who drew the double team out of the left post.
  • Both teams look anxious in the opening stages. A mix of players who are overly eager to make plays and others who are anxious not to make a mistake whenever the ball comes near them. Tense times. These two teams need to loosen up a bit, play their games.
  • Clippers lead 6-5 after five minutes. The two teams are a combined 4-21 on FGAs.
  • Good job by Rudy Gay on the switch on Paul to deflect Paul’s post entry pass. Clippers got the ball back but Gay did well to contest the pass and delay the Clippers offense. I like the defensive effort from Gay there.
  • Chris Paul high pick and roll with DeAndre Jordan, dribbles right, takes the pull up jumper from 18 feet, nails it. Clippers lead 10-7 with four plus minutes left in the first period. Next possession, Chris Paul wild full court drive after the inbounds pass, gets to the lane, out of control, clearly traveled, not called, desperation pass to Griffin, catch and finish plus the foul, three point play. Next play, Blake Griffin hits the face up jumper from 16 feet left wing. A 14-7 lead for LAC now.
  • Rudy Gay gets a left baseline jumper from 20 feet to go. Grizzlies get a stop, fastbreak, they have numbers, but ughh … play for the three ball in the corner instead of attacking the rim, Conley misses the three. When you’re struggling offensively the way Memphis is here, you gotta take the easier shot. Play for the layup.
  • A few turnovers (a Rudy gay five second violation after failing to inbounds the ball, a Clipper stepping out of bounds in the corner, mental errors, unforced turnovers) and a bunch of missed shot later. LA leads 14-11 with 90 seconds left in the period. And now Caron Butler travels on the hop-step on the fastbreak. Loose ball foul on Gasol on next possession to deny Gasol the tap in.
  • Mo Williams top of the key, drives left, pull up fadeaway jumper, 17 feet, hits it. Tough shot. Zach Randolph replies with a good finish in traffic after initially losing the ball on his spin move. That will do it for the quarter, LAC leads 16-13.

Second Quarter

  • Memphis – Conley, Mayo, Pondexter, Speights and Randolph
  • Clippers – Mo Will, Bledsoe, N.Young, Kenyon and Griffin Evans
  • Zach Randolph gives the Grizzlies the lead (17-16) after two free throws.
  • Nick Young hits a spot up three pointer from the right corner in transition.
  • OJ Mayo with a nice 22 footer from the top of the key after coming off the pick. The score is 22-19 LAC at the 7:30 mark after Speights goaltends (grabbed the net while ball was on rim). Next possession, OJ Mayo with an aggressive drive after the kickout from the offensive rebound, gets himself to the foul line, makes both. Mayo looking like the Grizzlies most dynamic offensive threat in the backcourt. They need a big game out of him to balance their interior threats.
  • Nick Young with a nice dribble, draw the defense and kick to the corner for the three pointer. Nice play from Young. Next possession, Chris Paul hits a pull up jumper from 16 feet in transition. Back to back jumpers from Chris Paul. Excellent screen in transition by R.Evans to free up Paul for that jumper. The score is 27-20 at the midway point in the second. Kenyon Martin with a tip in offensive rebound on the next possession. The Clippers stringing together some baskets here. Memphis will need to be careful not to fall down too much. Next possession, Paul finds Kenyon Martin at the rim for the easy shot. Ten point game.
  • Marc Gasol gets back to back baskets against Blake Griffin sandwiched in between a Mo Williams hoop. The first was a drive and running hook from about 13 feet across the paint. The second, a baseline spin move and finish plus the foul. The score is 33-26 LAC with less than four to play in the first half.
  • The score is 33-29 as near the final two minutes after three made FTs from Memphis (Gay 2, Gasol 1). Marc Gasol makes two more FTs to trim the lead to four. Free throws are bringing Memphis back into this.
  • Haddadi with the offensive rebound, pass out to Gay, bank shot from 15 feet right wing, nails it.
  • Chris Paul weaving through the defense off the high PnR, stops and pops, drills it. Big jumper.
  • Rudy Gay replies with a driving runner of his own from the left wing. Gay coming up big over the final few minutes (at least 6 points in the final three minutes).
  • Pondexter drains a 22 footer right wing to make it a one point game, 39-38 Clippers. Only 23.5 seconds left in the quarter, Paul holds it for the final shot, makes a drive on the left wing, jumps into Haddadi’s body looking to draw the foul, no call and misses the acrobatic layup attempt.

Halftimebox score stats

  • The Clippers have 39 points on 15-41 FGAs (36.6%), 2-8 from downtown and 7-11 from the foul line. They have 8 first half turnovers.
  • The Grizzlies have 38 points on 13-40 FGAs (32.5%), 0-6 from downtown and 11-17 from the foul line. They only have 4 turnovers.
  • A plus 4 in turnover differential for Memphis while the rebounding battle is pretty much neutral (23-22 LAC).
  • Marc Gasol (9), Rudy Gay (9) and Zach Randolph (7) lead the way with 25 of the Grizzlies 38 points. They also have 15 of the team’s 22 rebounds.
  • Mike Conley is 0-7 from the field. Struggling.
  • Chris Paul leads the way for LA with 11, 3 and 3. The rest of the Grizzlies offense has been spread out (five players with 4 points, one with 6).
  • Blake Griffin is only 2-10 FGAs. Caron Butler only 1-6.

Third Quarter

  • A reminder of the score – Clippers lead 39-38
  • Conley opens up the third with his first basket of the quarter. It came off of a left wing drive and floater in the paint against the shot clock. Next possession, a right wing drive to the opposite side of the rim with Gay using his extension brilliantly to finish. Turnover Clippers, fastbreak, Conley against Foye, Foye fouls him just in time to avoid the lauyup and/or shooting foul.
  • Tony Allen and Mike Conley miss three pointers on back to back possessions for the Grizzlies, TA got a wonderful offensive rebound on Conley’s miss but Caron Butler stripped him on the way up to deny the layup. Brilliant play by Butler. On the other end, Butler hits a 16 footer right wing, Nice.
  • Rudy Gay curls around a screen on the left post, Gasol right elbow extended, passes it to him in the paint, hook shot, Gay hits it. Nice play by Memphis.
  • Butler with Conley on him on a switch, catches baseline, right side, spins, goes to the rim, attacks it, pushes off on the defender but no-call, finishes inside. Timeout Memphis.
  • The Clippers lead 45-44 at the seven minute mark in the third
  • Chris Paul runs into a trap, doubled hard, turnover, Memphis run the other way, Conley layup. Love it.
  • The Clippers run a left wing 1-3 PnR with Paul-Butler, get the switch, Paul finds Butler left sideline 20 feet, pump fake, one dribble, pull up, Gasol chases him down and blocks the shot … On the other end, Memphis slow it down, run their offense, spot the mismatch, Paul defending Gay, post up left box, Conley gets it to him, easy finish. Memphis’ crowd roars.
  • Blake Griffin makes and acrobatic lay in at the basket to answer back for LA as Zach Randolph got sealed trying to front the post but failing to get out in front, easy pass and tough contested finish for Griffin inside.
  • The score is 50-49 Memphis with three minutes left in the third. Lots of hustle on loose-balls and offensive rebounds but neither team is executing overly well offensively.
  • Chris Paul turns it over again, fastbreak Memphis, ahead to Gay, attacks the basket and draws the foul. Two FTs.
  • Mo Williams with a nice pump fake, one dribble inwards and pull up jumper on the left wing.
  • Marc Gasol knocks down a left elbow extended jump shot
  • Excellent trap on the PnR when Gay used Haddadi, Kenyon pinned him to the sideline, cross court pass to no-one, turnover. Final minute.
  • Chris Paul nails a long jumper off the high pick and roll. Nice screen again by Reggie Evans. A great screen-setter. The Clippers lead 55-54 with under 30 seconds left.
  • The Grizzlies hold it … looking for the final shot, Gay at the halfway line, goes one on one, moves to the right wing, crosses over on Butler, pivots, steps through as Butler goes for the steal, takes the leaner from 18 feet right wing, hits it. Memphis lead 56-55 at the end of the third.

Fourth Quarter

  • Kenyon Martin nails a long jumper from the top of the key. He has 6 points (3-3 FGAs) and 5 rebounds tonight. Has played very well defensively as one would expect from him.
  • Nick Young drills a right wing catch and shoot three from the right corner in transition. Clippers ahead 60-56 one minute into the fourth. Quick timeout by Lionel Hollins.
  • Memphis – Arenas, Mayo, Gay, Cunningham, Randolph
  • Clippers – Mo Will, Bledsoe, N.Young, Kenyon and Evans
  • Bledsoe on the drive, stripped, stolen, turnover, Memphis run the other way but LAC’s transition defense is too good. They reset but only get a low percentage fallaway jumper off the dribble from Mayo, miss, offensive rebound Dante Cunningham, putback, good.
  • Nick Young posts up Arenas midpost left sideline, faces up, takes the jumper, drills it … but misses a transition three from the corner on the next possession. I’d like to see him run for a layup some of time instead of going to the corner so readily.
  • Zach Randolph hasn’t scored in the second half. Still on 7 points. He does have 12 rebounds though. Meanwhile, Conley and Pondexter come in for Arenas and Gay.
  • Eric Bledsoe with a very impressive attack in transition to finish falling away from the basket after the pretty crossover dribble to get into the paint.
  • Zach Randolph left post finds a cutting Conley from the weakside but he misses the short shot after an excellent shot-contest by Kenyon Martin, Reggie Evans corrals the ball, fastbreak the other way, to Nick Young driving the baseline, misses the layup, Kenyon tips it back up and in. Timeout Memphis again as LAC goes up 66-58 with under 9 minutes left in the season for one of these two teams.
  • Kenyon Martin is dared into another long jumper but he misses this time. Memphis completely ignored him on that possession. Kenyon makes up for it with a transition hoop the next time down the floor. Good push and dish by Bledsoe to find Kenyon in transition.
  • Gasol makes two FTs to make it a 68-62 scoreline in the Clippers favour.
  • Memphis – Gasol, Speights, Pondexter, TA, Mayo
  • LAC still have the same second unit lineup on the floor. Mo Williams buries a three pointer left wing, catch and shoot. Wide open.
  • Oh, yes, great block by Kenyon Martin to deny OJ Mayo at the rim. He has done an excellent job anchoring the Clippers defense.
  • I’d like to see Memphis attack the Clips PFs with Marc Gasol in the low post. And they do exactly that on the next possession, Reggie Evans wants to deny the passing lane but fails to get out in time, Gasol seals him, easy pass, one step inside, fouled at the rim. Makes two FTs.
  • The Clippers lead 71-63 with six plus minutes remaining
  • DeAndre Jordan has checked in to defend Marc Gasol. For Kenyon. Interesting that they have kept Reggie Evans out there. I don’t like that decision. Let’s see how it goes. Immediately, Evans keeps a loose offensive rebound alive, DeAndre Jordan gets the rebound, fouled. I think Evans + Jordan are too limited offensively. Will allow the Grizzlies to neuter Chris Paul and the Clippers PnR game. It’s Mo Williams and Nick Young out there with those two bigs and Paul.
  • Gasol PnR, drifts to the left baseline, puts it on the floor, running shot in the lane, stripped. Turnover. Nick Young takes and misses a bad shot on the other end.
  • Conley does an excellent job contesting the dribble, deflects the ball, Paul retrieves it, Conley forces him wide, denies him the lane, off balance fallaway off the dribble heavily contested against the shot clock, air ball. Turnover. Excellent defense.
  • No Blake Griffin. No Zach Randolph.
  • Marc Gasol faces up on left post, jab step right, drives left,stops, hesitates to freeze shot-blocker, step back one hander, makes it. Timeout LAC.
  • The score is 71-65 with four minutes left to play
  • Grizzlies have their starting lineup out there. Griffin is back in for Jordan for LA while Bledsoe, Young and Evans remaining out there with Paul and Griffin.
  • Nick Young gets two FTs as he is fouled on a 17 footer right elbow extended. A bad call earlier in the possession as TA tries to save a loose ball after deflecting it, ruled a change in possession despite him having no control over it because he had two hands on the ball when he saved it. Cost the Grizzlies two FTs.
  • Marc Gasol drives right, wheels into the paint and hits the layup. Oh my. Blake Griffin can’t be letting slow Marc Gasol beat him off the dribble.
  • Bledsoe right wing, PnR, goes baseline, attacks Zach Randolph and finishes at the rim. Clippers lead 75-67.
  • 2:40 – Conley nearly stripped but fouled before he loses it. Young. Conley takes two and makes two. 75-69.
  • 2:25 – strange sub, Kenyon back in for Griffin. I understand that as an defense-offense substitution but LAC is going back on offense here. Leave Griffin on the floor. Clippers have gone back to a four bench players and Paul lineup with Paul replacing Mo Williams being the only change from their second unit … which has given them great minutes here in the fourth. Meanwhile, Memphis are rotating TA (defense) and Mayo (offense) in and out of the game. TA is defending Paul here.
  • 2:20 – TA doing a great job denying Paul the ball but Paul eventually gets in good position for the pass, retrieves the ball while TA fouls him going for the steal. Sideline inbounds, Paul gets it late in the shot clock, defense miscommunication there, Paul open, takes the three, misses it.
  • 2 min – Conley PnR Gasol, to Gasol at foul line, who puts the ball on the floor, loses it, turnover, Paul steals it. TA dives on it, fouls Paul. 6th foul on TA. Mayo in for TA.
  • 1:45 – Mayo picks Paul’s pocket at midcourt, nobody from either team running back into the play, Mayo to the rim, misses the layup, Evans (the only player to run back) grabs the rebound. Score still 75-69.
  • 1:30 – Mayo doing a terrific job bothering Paul’s dribble again, Paul needs to attack Mayo earlier here instead of playing the clock, PnR with Evans, Evans catches it at 18 feet top of the key, he can’t shoot, tries to pass it off, finds Mo Williams, jumper out of the corner, misses, rebound Gay. Excellent help defense by Randolph to force CP3 to give up the ball to Reggie Evans there.
  • 1:11 – Memphis runs up, finds Randolph on pick and pop with Conley, left wing, drives left, lefty one hander baseline, misses, rebound Clippers. Kenyon fouled. Kenyon will have to shoot two FTs (his first FTs of the playoffs). Kenyon makes the first. Misses the second. Rebound Memphis.
  • 1:01 – Clippers lead 76-69 – Timeout Memphis. Mayo right wing, PnR with Gasol, Paul kick-ball. Sideline out, 53 seconds, Conley high PnR with Gasol, over to Mayo left wing, dribbles in, 23 footer top of the key, fouled, Kenyon blocked the shot. Unfortunate foul. Great block by Kenyon. Very good defensive possession as a whole until that last second miscue. Mayo misses the first FT, makes the second.
  • 44.4 secs  – Clippers lead 76-70, into Young, fouled. FT shooting contest now. Young makes two.
  • 40 seconds – Pondexter earns himself a trip to the line but splits a pair.
  • 30 seconds – Clippers lead 78-71, Paul makes two. 9 point game.

This is over. Congratulations to the LA Clippers advancing to the second round for a good matchup against the San Antonio Spurs.

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