"Embarrassing." "Tough." "Lack of effort."
These are three words spewed in the Memphis Grizzlies locker room after a brutal-looking loss to the Los Angeles Clippers (99-73) at FedExForum on Monday night.
A wintry mix of cold temperatures and an intermittent freezing rain did not stop the 15,837 fans from coming out to witness what turned out to be a seemingly lackluster style of play. The Grizzlies just didn't deliver against the team that so many wanted to deliver a serious beat down.
Memphis finished with only 30 percent shooting, a franchise-record low for a home game. They were 6-of-20 from the three-point line and committed 14 turnovers. Although they outrebounded the Clippers 48-40 overall, that stat didn't translate into enough points, as Los Angeles went hard to the defensive boards, 33-24.
Grizzlies guard Mike Conley said it best.
"The first play of the game Blake Griffin gets a dunk – that kind of sums it up," he said. "It's embarrassing. It"s not how we built this team."
The Grizzlies lost to the Clippers for the second time this season. Los Angeles outscored Memphis in all four quarters, including a 53-34 margin in the first half.
"It's tough," said Grizz forward Zach Randolph said. "This is not the way we play. We're better than we're showing. This is the team that put us out the playoffs – a team we felt we should've beat last year in the playoffs and they come out and beat us by about 30."
Randolph maintained his NBA lead in double-doubles leading the team with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Wayne Ellington started in the place of team stalwart Rudy Gay. who was out attending the funeral of his grandmother. Ellington finished with 11 points followed by Darrell Arthur with 10.
The Clippers' reserves scored 54 points, with Jamal Crawford and Matt Barnes leading the way, pitching in 16 points each.
"I think our bench came in for a good run and did a good job," said Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro. "Jamal (Crawford) got down in there and Ryan (Hollins) hit a couple shots. We were just active."
Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe started in place of Chris Paul, who was out with a bruised right kneecap. Bledsoe contributed 14 points toward the win.
"Where was the effort?" Tony Allen said when asked about the loss. "Where was the effort? For a team that calls themselves grinders, you just have to ask, 'Where was the effort tonight.'"
"What got us beat was our lack of intensity, effort, competitiveness and not being able to finish the easy stuff around the basket," said Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins....They came in here and wanted to show us, and they did."
Now with back-to-back losses – and really bad-looking ones at that – the Grizzlies must gear up to face the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday at the AT&T Center.