The Memphis Grizzlies extended their season-opener losing streak to twelve on Wednesday (Oct. 31) at the Staples Center where they fell to the Los Angeles Clippers 101-92 in a game of runs filled with exciting highs and lows.
The two teams, rightfully so, have developed a new NBA rivalry. Picking up where they left off from last season, game one showed high levels of intensity and glimpses of promise from a Grizz team looking for redemption.
Coming off a 4-3 preseason, the Grizzlies knew what to expect after last season's Game 7 loss against the Clippers in the opening round of NBA Playoffs. That game featured high (at times hot-tempered) energy, dunking, heavy defense it the paint and non-calls on important plays.
The unfinished business was not settled on Wednesday, but the game can be used as a tool to help the team move forward as the season progresses toward full throttle.
The loss can be traced to a lack of long-range shooting, a lack of scoring at the three-point line and low-bench scoring.
Grizz forward Rudy Gay paced the team with 25 points and seven rebounds, followed by Marc Gasol with 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Zach Randolph landed his first double-double of this regular season, with 15 points and 16 rebounds, racking 10 rebounds in the first half. Randolph and Clippers power forward Blake Griffin were both given technical fouls.
Leading at halftime (53-49), the Grizzlies forced 12 turnovers in the second quarter. They finished 2-of-14 from the three-point line (14 percent) compared to the Clippers at 33 percent (5-of-15).
Clippers Jamal Crawford and Eric Bledsoe came up big off the bench. Crawford led all scorers with 29 points in almost 30 minutes in his Clippers debut, while Bledsoe pitched in with 13.
By game's end, Memphis had slightly outrebounded the Clippers and forced 22 turnovers. But the Clippers converted 21 Grizz turnovers into 29 points.
NOTE: The Grizzlies will face the Golden State Warriors on Friday (Nov. 2) before their home opener on Monday (Nov. 5) at the FedExForum against the Utah Jazz.