for this game

Grizzlies top Clippers to extend series

May 10, 2012 - 6:42 AM Memphis, TN (Sports Network) - The Memphis Grizzlies held on for a 92-80 win over the Clippers on Wednesday and managed to avoid elimination in Game 5 of this best-of-seven series.

Memphis, which squandered a 27-point lead in a Game 1 loss, was up by as many as 24 on Wednesday before Los Angeles pulled within single digits late in the fourth quarter.

The Grizzlies, though, closed the game on an 11-5 run to send the series back to Los Angeles for Game 6 on Friday.

Marc Gasol had 23 points in the win, Zach Randolph added 19 and 10 rebounds and Rudy Gay finished with 14 points.

"We were more disciplined defensively than we have been in the past, especially in the fourth quarter when they were cutting into the lead that we had," said Gasol.

The Clippers, who had won the previous two games of this series and were looking to advance to the second round for the first time since 2006, were led by Mo Williams' 20 points.

Chris Paul scored 19, but re-aggravated a groin injury late in the game. Blake Griffin, who had 15 points and 11 rebounds, appeared to injure his left knee in the third quarter but remained in the contest.

"I expect them both to be fine," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said of his two stars. "Obviously they are going to be sore and injured and they are gonna have to fight through it as best they can."

The Grizzlies' 24-point lead came late in the third quarter, when Gasol hit a free throw to make it 75-51. Both Paul and Los Angeles head coach Vinnie Del Negro received technical fouls shortly before that and the game appeared to be getting away from the Clippers.

Griffin was injured shortly after that. He was fouled by Gasol while going up for a layup and landed awkwardly on his left knee; the same knee that caused him to miss the entire 2009-10 season.

After holding the knee on the baseline, Griffin briefly went to the bench before returning to the court to take his take his foul shots. He hit 1-of-2 and remained in the game.

Paul followed with five straight points, helping Los Angeles cut its deficit to 77-65 by the end of the quarter.

The closest the Clippers got in the fourth was six points, when Williams nailed a pull-up jumper to make it 81-75.

It was still a six-point game when Paul exited due to injury with 1:25 to play. The teams then traded buckets, but a free throw from Randolph and a layup from Gay put the Grizzlies up 88-79 with less than a minute left and they held on for the win.

Gasol and Randolph managed just five and four points, respectively, in the second half after combining for 33 over the first two quarters.

That early effort helped the Grizzlies to a 36-22 lead after one and the advantage didn't dip below double-digits in the second quarter.

Game Notes

Only eight NBA teams have won a series after trailing 3-1. The last team to accomplish the feat was the Phoenix Suns, when they defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in 2006...The Clippers' last playoff series win came over the Nuggets in 2006. This is their first trip to the playoffs since that season.