LOS ANGELES – The Clippers dominated the depleted Memphis Grizzlies 110 -84 to win their sixth game in a row in the regular season finale at Staples Center on Tuesday night.
Sixth man of the year candidate, Jamal Crawford, did not play in the game, but that gave plenty of minutes to backup guard Austin Rivers who scored a team-high 14 points.
"It's the start of the second season. The real season starts now," Crawford said after the game. "Now, we have the pieces in place and everybody is healthy. Hopefully, we can hit the ground running."
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The Grizzlies were without starters Tony Allen, Mike Conley and Marc Gasol and struggled mightily in their absence. Memphis has fallen from the No. 4 spot in the west over the past few weeks, and could slip all the way down to No. 7 depending on how the final game of the season on Wednesday plays out.
"We just have to have more effort," former Clippers forward and current Grizzlies forward Matt Barnes said. "In the Playoffs we know we will be shorthanded, so we are just trying to keep the guys we do have healthy for those games."
Los Angeles leapt out to an early double-digit lead and extended that to 15 points midway through the second quarter. J.J. Redick had 11 points, including three from beyond the arc, giving him a total of 200 on the season. Redick did not come out for the second half due to a left heel injury.
"He'll get it checked out in the morning," said head coach Doc Rivers. "We hope it's not too serious, but we don't really know."
Things got gradually worse for the Grizzlies in the second half as the Clippers led by as many 23 points throughout the third and fourth quarters.
Zach Randolph led Memphis with 14 points and former Clippers guard Lance Stephenson scored 11 off the bench.
Blake Griffin continued to get back in game shape for the Clippers as he scored 12 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out four assists. Chris Paul had 12 points and 13 assists. In total, six players scored in double-figures for Los Angeles.
"I wish I had three or four more games," Griffin said of how close he is to where he wants to be. "I'm close enough, but the Playoffs are different. It's time now. It's on. I'll be ready when the time comes."
Players of the Game:
Austin Rivers: 14 points.
Blake Griffin: 12 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and three steals.
Chris Paul: 12 points and 13 assists.
Zach Randolph: 14 points.
1. Sixth Man on Hiatus: The Los Angeles Clippers Sixth Man of the Year candidate, Jamal Crawford, sat out the game with the Grizzlies to rest his 36-year-old body. Crawford has logged a lot of miles on the court this season especially as the team has rested starters down the stretch.
Jamal Crawford resting tonight. — Ben Bolch (@latbbolch) April 13, 2016
2. J.J. Watt Came for some D-Fence: The Houston Texans defensive end sat courtside next to the Clippers bench for the game. The former Defensive Player of the Year got what he came for as the Clippers held the Grizzlies to just 84 points.
3. Spin the Playoff Wheel: The Los Angeles Clippers will have to wait til Wednesday to find out who their first round opponent will be. If Portland wins their season finale against the Denver Nuggets, they will claim the No. 5 seed and play Los Angeles. If Portland loses, and the Grizzlies beat the Warriors, Memphis will meet the Clippers in the first round. If both Portland and Memphis lose and the Dallas Mavericks win, the Clippers will host the Mavericks in round 1.
Looking great for the Blazers to snag the 5th seed in the NBA playoffs. Fantastic season. Expected 30 wins max..now at 43 — Joe (@volcanoJoe72) April 13, 2016
Grizzlies (42-39): Memphis makes it way to the Bay Area where they will try and not be on the wrong side of history on Wednesday night when they face the 72-win Golden State Warriors as they attempt to break the NBA all-time regular season record.
Clippers (53-28): Los Angeles will end the season in the desert when they take on the Phoenix Suns before ramping up for the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
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