Clippers Take 3-1 Series Lead Against Grizzlies

Game 5 is Wednesday night in Memphis, with Game 6 back at Staples Center on Friday if necessary.

Chris Paul scored eight of his 27 points in a dynamic overtime performance, and the Los Angeles Clippers moved to the brink of their second playoff series victory in 36 years with a 101-97 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night, taking a 3-1 series lead.

Blake Griffin had 30 points and seven assists before fouling out with 2:26 left in overtime for the Clippers, who blew a 10-point lead in the final four minutes of regulation before their All-Star point guard took charge in the overtime.

Mike Conley scored a career playoff-high 25 points and Rudy Gay had 23 on 8-of-25 shooting for the Grizzlies, who couldn't match Paul's late-game poise in another thrilling chapter of a highly entertaining series.

Sunday's one-point Clippers' win in Game 3 ended with a sigh of relief when the Grizzlies missed a jumper at the buzzer. This time around, regulation wasn't enough to decide the game.

"It's fun, it's exciting,'' said Paul.

Gay hit a game-tying jumper in the final minute of regulation, but Paul responded with a layup for the two-point Clippers lead. Memphis' Zach Randolph answered with a pair of freethrows.

Paul, double-teamed by Tony Allen and Gay on the next possession, was unable to get a shot on the final possession.


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"The worst mistake I probably made in the game was not getting the shot at the end of regulation. 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 that we do is a team win.''

In overtime, the Clippers were up 95-89 when Griffin fouled out, leaving it up to Paul and the Clippers' defense. Paul delivered with back-to-back jumpers, giving the Clippers a 99-93 lead with 44 seconds remaining.

"Defensively in the overtime, we got three stops in a row, and Chris came down and hit big shot after big shot,'' Griffin said. "We keep telling ourselves, and we've said this all year, it starts on defense for us.''

Game 5 is Wednesday night in Memphis, with Game 6 back at Staples Center on Friday if necessary.

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