The Grizzlies – having held serve at the FedExForum – will square off against the Clippers in Los Angeles on Tuesday before returning to Memphis for a critical Game 6.
The Memphis-LA duel in the NBA Playoffs first-round is even at two apiece after the Grizzlies aced the Clippers in games last Thursday and Saturday in Memphis' "Grind House." The Clippers took the first two games in Los Angeles, including a buzzer-beater in the second game.
The kind of defense that Memphis was known for in the regular season was on display in both games in Memphis. On Saturday, Los Angeles was held to 83 points in a 104-83 smackdown and averaged 82.5 points in the two games in Memphis. At the Staples Center in L.A., the Clippers averaged 102.5 points in the two games.
Fans turned out big time for the two games at the FedExForum, with 18,119 on hand Saturday for Memphis' 12th consecutive postseason sellout.
Tickets for Game 6 in Memphis Friday go on sale at noon today (April 29). Get tickets at ticketmaster.com, at local Ticketmaster Ticket Centers or via phone at 1-800-4NBA-TIX.
"We got to keep playing and playing well," Grizz coach Lionel Hollins after the Game 5 victory. "They won their first two, we won our two, now we go out there and we try to get a win in L.A. That's important. You can't win a series without winning in L.A."
Shooting guard Tony Allen said the Grizzlies know they have to play with "a sense of urgency" in Los Angeles.
"We have to play hard, play together, block out the crowd and stick with each other to try to get the win. But today (Saturday) was great Grizz basketball."
With Hollins preaching team defense, reserve Quincy Pondexter did his part on L.A.'s All-Star point guard Chris Paul.
"He's such a terrific player. I was just trying to be there and contest his shots," Pondexter. "Most people are scared to pick him up full-court, but I just wanted to get out there and frustrate him as much as I could."
The Memphis Grizzlies needed a win in the worst way after the Clippers took the first two at the Staples Center. And they got it.
And they got it on Thursday.
The FedExForu building was loud, reverberating with for the Grizzlies to "beat L. A." Zach Randolph led the way with 27 points and 11 rebounds – a huge turnaround from his performances in Los Angeles.
"Zach was huge," said Hollins. "He got started quickly. He had 18 at halftime and that got us going. Everyone else just flowed into that. I thought our defense, for the most part, was solid."
"We didn't play very well the first game (in L.A.," Hollins said. "We played a lot better the second game and even better tonight (Thursday). "It is important to get into the playoff intensity mode."
Chris Paul, who was held to eight points, six rebounds and four assists, said, "Their crowd brought a lot of energy tonight. Our guys were in there battling. We have just got to find a way to keep those guys competing without getting fouls."