Memphis, TN (Sporting Alert) — The Los Angeles Clippers bench came up big when needed and the visitors outscored the Memphis Grizzlies 27-16 in the final quarter to win game seven of their Western Conference first round game on Sunday.
Star point guard Chris Paul scored 19 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two steals to lead the way for the Clippers in the 82-72 win at FedExForum.
Nick Young scored 13 points and Kenyon Martin, enjoying another game seven contest, added a double-double of 11 points and 11 boards and the Clippers advanced to the Western Conference semifinals.
“That’s why it’s seven games,” Martin said after the game. “If you don’t do it before, you get another chance.
“So they did what they had to do, they came and stole home court back on our floor. … We had a chance to close it out. We knew we let it go, an opportunity get away.”
Paul added: “I felt like we should have won earlier. But it doesn’t matter. As long as you win, I think it is a step in the right direction for our franchise.”
Power forward Reggie Evans pulled down nine important defensive rebounds in his 19 minutes of play.
The Memphis Grizzlies were led by Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol, who both scored 19 points in the defeat.
Gay also finished with nine rebounds.
But while the starters were holding their own, the bench players failed to show up.
“Unfortunately, no one on the bench stepped up and helped us,” Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said.
“You have to take your hats off to them because they played good,” . Zach Randolph, who had a game-high 12 rebounds, said of the Clippers.
“Chris Paul had a good game, and their bench played terrific.”