Zach Randolph helps Memphis Grizzlies end skid with win over Los Angeles Clippers

By Don Wade, The Sports Xchange   |   March 20, 2016 at 1:11 AM
| License Photo

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Late in the Memphis Grizzlies' 113-102 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers Saturday night at FedExForum, injured point guard Mike Conley let the just-back-in-the-lineup Zach Randolph in on a little secret:

He was one assist away from his first triple-double.

"Mike told me," Randolph said. "I was kinda geeked."

Assist No. 10 came at the 1:26 mark in the fourth quarter as Tony Allen ran the lane and scored on a layup.

"I been playing with him for six years," Allen said. "Pass it to Z-Bo, cut, get open. He can't say I never done nothing for him."

Said Randolph: "That's our play."

Randolph would be part of many plays in helping Memphis stop a four-game losing streak. After missing seven straight games with a sore knee, he finished with a season-high 28 points, 11 rebounds and a season-best 10 assists. Allen scored 22 points.

"It all started with Zach," said Clippers coach Doc Rivers. "He came in on a mission. He led them. Him and Tony Allen were just the two toughest guys on the floor. So, you deserve to lose when that happens."

With the Clippers (43-25) holding the fourth seed in the Western Conference and the Grizzlies (40-30) in the five slot, Saturday's game was potentially a preview of a first-round playoffs matchup. The teams have met twice in the first round of the playoffs, with the Clippers winning 4-3 in 2012 and the Grizzlies 4-2 in 2013.

Asked about a possible rematch, Rivers said: "They should have confidence. They really should. They don't put your jerseys up and say, `This is your name, and this is your name, and you get to win.'"

These Grizzlies, of course, are a mere shell of their former selves. Marc Gasol is out for the rest of the season after fracturing his foot. Conley missed his eighth straight game with a sore Achilles.

The Grizzlies' locker room is now full of guys on 10-day contracts sharing lockers with their names printed in magic marker on masking tape. One of them is guard Ray McCallum, who finished with 14 points.

After Chris Paul (25 points and six assists) hit a jumper to complete an 8-0 spurt in the fourth quarter, the Clippers had drawn to within 91-88 with 6:57 to play. But the Grizzlies went on a 9-1 run that included seven straight points from McCallum, or "Little Ray" as Randolph calls him.

McCallum finished 6-of-12 from the floor but was just 3-of-9 through three quarters.

McCallum said Randolph had a message for him: "We need you to keep shooting."

Memphis had 44-30 rebounding edge and shot 48.8 percent from the floor. The Clippers shot 47 percent from the field.

Center DeAndre Jordan had 16 points and seven rebounds for the Clippers and went 4 of 10 from the line. Paul Pierce scored 12 points off the bench and Austin Rivers had 10.

The Grizzlies also got 12 points from Lance Stephenson and JaMychal Green had 11 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals.

"They did it collectively," Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger said. "To be rewarded with a win against a pretty darn good team, they deserve it."

Los Angeles' Jeff Green (eight points) left the game in the third quarter with a face laceration and did not return. He needed eight stitches. The injury happened on a play where he was called for fouling Randolph, who until a few weeks ago was his Memphis teammate.

"Caught an elbow and saw all the blood," Green said. "It wasn't something he was trying to do. It wasn't on purpose, so it's all good."

NOTES: The NBA suspended Memphis F Matt Barnes without pay for Saturday's game vs. the Clippers for attempting to enter the Bucks' locker room in Milwaukee and "verbally challenging" Bucks F John Henson following the players' ejections during last Thursday's game. Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger said he didn't learn of the suspension until a couple of hours before Saturday's game. ... Clippers coach Doc Rivers praised Joerger for what he's done with a multitude of injuries that has included losing C Marc Gasol for the season, PG Mike Conley (sore foot) and PF Zach Randolph (sore knee), plus several others. "Dave has done an amazing job when you look at their record, considering," Rivers said. "They still are surviving." ... The Grizzlies led the NBA in games lost to injury, at 233 as of March 18. ... The all-time series between the teams is tied 39-39.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories