NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, December 5th (All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Clippers (12-7) at Memphis Grizzlies (9-8), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Clippers didn't get the first of two seven-game road trips off to a good start and will pay a visit to the Memphis Grizzlies Thursday night at FedExForum.
The Clippers opened a 13-day journey with Wednesday's 107-97 loss at Atlanta and were led by Blake Griffin's 24 points and seven rebounds. Chris Paul compiled 19 points and handed out 11 assists, while Jamal Crawford and Darren Collison both scored 13 points off the bench.
Los Angeles made 47 percent of its shots, but was cold from 3-point range, making only 4-of-19 attempts.
"We weren't here tonight defensively," said Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, who is still one win shy of 600 in his career. "They got comfortable."
Rivers can become the 23rd coach all-time to win that many games with a victory on Beale Street. He would also join Gregg Popovich and Rick Adelman as the only active head coaches with at least 600 victories.
L.A. had won four in a row and nine of 11 games until dropping a 105-100 decision versus the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, and fell to 4-5 as the visitor with the recent setback to the Hawks. The Clippers will also visit Cleveland, Philadelphia, Boston, Brooklyn and Washington on the trek.
The Clips, who are second in the NBA with 105.9 points per game, have a lengthy seven-game sojourn scheduled from Jan. 17-27.
Meanwhile, Memphis improved to 1-1 on its six-game homestand with Tuesday's 110-91 triumph over the Phoenix Suns. Mike Conley scored 18 points and handed out 14 assists, Jon Leuer ended with 23 points and nine rebounds and Ed Davis posted 21 points and 12 rebounds in the win.
Memphis shot 54.8 percent (46-for-84) from the field and had a 56-36 advantage in the paint.
Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph missed his second straight game with a toe injury and Memphis is already without reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol (knee).
"We know with Marc (Gasol) and Zach out, obviously it's going to be a tough loss for us," said Leuer. "Those are two guys that are a huge part of this team. When they go down, everybody else has to step up. That's what we were able to do tonight."
Randolph is questionable versus the Clippers and has posted a double-double in seven of his last 10 games played. Memphis is 6-0 this season when Randolph leads or ties the team in scoring.
The Grizzlies, winners in six of nine games overall, are 4-5 at home and will also welcome Golden State, Orlando and Oklahoma City to FedExForum. Memphis snapped a four-game home losing streak against the Suns.
Memphis and the Clippers are certainly familiar with each other. The Clippers and Grizzlies have met 21 times over the last two seasons, including 13 playoff games. Memphis survived last year in the postseason and recorded a 106-102 victory on Nov. 18 at Staples Center.
Randolph led the way in that one with 26 points and 15 rebounds.
12/05 10:26:19 ET