wpostServer: http://css.washingtonpost.com/wpost2

Most Read: Sports

http://www.washingtonpost.com/2010/07/06/ABMK8PP_linkset.html
The Early Lead
Posted at 10:53 AM ET, 05/08/2012

Chris Paul, Clippers push Grizzlies to brink with OT win

This is why the Los Angeles Clippers traded for Chris Paul — to get an experienced point guard with a proven ability to come through in the clutch and will his team to victory when they need him most.


Chris Paul was the overtime hero on Monday night. (Mark J. Terrill - AP)
Paul scored eight of his 27 points in overtime to help the Clippers grind out a 101-97 win over Memphis at Staples Center that brought them one win away from the second round.

After failing to get a good look at the basket on the final play of regulation, Paul took over the extra frame, hitting four mid-range jump shots to help L.A. seal the win.

“The worst mistake I probable made in the game was not getting the shot at the end of regulation,” Paul said. “If I was at home watching it on TV, I’d be talking so bad about me. But you’ve got to get through it. The (best) thing about it is that I have teammates that have confidence in me. Everything we do is a team win.”

Blake Griffin finished with a game-high 30 points on 10 of 15 shooting and Caron Butler scored 14 points in a gutsy effort while playing with a fractured hand.

Point guard Mike Conley Jr. paced Memphis with 25 points, seven rebounds and eight assists and Rudy Gay added 23 points and seven rebounds as the Grizzlies held a 47-36 edge on the boards including 19 offensive rebounds. But 16 turnovers and a 4 for 13 shooting performance from behind the arc didn’t help their cause.

Monday’s Game 4 was the latest installment in a thrilling series that has already seen two games decided by a single point. Memphis won Game 2 105-98 for the widest margin of victory yet in the series.

“It’s good TV, man, get the ratings up,” Paul said. “We don’t want any blowouts. There’s a reason we finished 4-5 with one game between us. We have a lot of competitive guys that don’t give up in this series. We have two teams that are going to fight until the end.”

Memphis heads back home for Wednesday’s Game 5 looking to extend the series while the Clippers hope to clinch only their second postseason series victory since they moved to L.A. for the 1984-85 season.

“I expect us to keep fighting,” Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said (via the Commercial Appeal). “We have a lot of basketball left.”

More NBA Playoffs coverage from Washington Post Sports:

San Antonio completes sweep of Utah

Philadelphia pushes top-seeded Bulls to brink of elimination

Josh Harris, 76ers owner, has roots in Washington, D.C.

Playoff scores and schedule

By  |  10:53 AM ET, 05/08/2012

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company