Much better outcome for the home team, as they tied up the series with a 105-98 victory in front of a sellout crowd at FedEx Forum. Here are a few things that DIDN’T happen:
The Clippers didn’t start slow. When you think about that Game 1 fiasco, it was an outlier in so many way that it almost has to be thrown out completely. For instance, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin were essentially non factors in the first half of Game 1. Game 2, the Clippers got out of the gates early, and Chris Paul was . . . well, he was Chris Paul. He went off for 16 points in the first half, finished the night with 29 points and 6 assists.
The Grizzlies didn’t get outrebounded. Memphis dominated the boards 37-29 and obliterated the Clippers on the offensive glass: 16-4. That’ll make a huge difference, especially considering this next one.
The Clippers didn’t miss . . . much. They shot 57 percent for the game, including 56 percent from downtown. That’s where that offensive rebounding comes in. The Griz shot a healthy 48 percent and had more attempts, given all those offensive rebounds. While the Griz played admirable defense, they can’t be happy about allowing 57 percent shooting.
Mike Conley didn’t miss free throws. Conley went 11-12 from the stripe, which came in particularly handy at the end of the game, when the crowd had flashbacks as the Clippers kept chipping away at the lead, getting it under 10 with less than 2 minutes to go. Conley kept the game on ice with a string of free throws to finish the game. Overall, the team shot well, and more importantly shot more than twice as many free throws as the Clippers.
The Grizzlies didn’t surrender the lead. One quiet, season-long trend that attentive Griz fans will recognize is this: In general, once the Grizzlies grab a lead, they don’t give it up. That’s why the arena was so shocked after Game 1, because fans had quietly gotten used to the Grizz holding onto leads. Well, in Game 2, they never ran up a 20-point lead, but once they took a lead in the second quarter, they never relinquished it, going up as much as 13 at one point. Sure, Clippers were in striking distance several times after that, but they never took the lead.
However, for the Clippers the old mantra is still true: They stole one on the road, which is exactly what any team wants to do on the road. The series resumes in L.A. on Saturday . . . we’ll see if the Grizzlies can take their winning ways to Staples Center. And one more thing: The Grizz will be back in Memphis for Game 5 next Wednesday! Get your tickets, Grizz Nation!