Los Angeles Clipperscould have closed out their First Round series against the Memphis Grizzlies during Game 5 of their matchup versus the Memphis Grizzlies but couldn’t overcome their subpar first quarter en route to the loss. The good side of this, owners of Los Angeles Clippers tickets could witness their team win their first playoff series since 2006.
Everybody expected that this series would be a close one especially when their playoff seeding is considered. Memphis is the fourth seed and Los Angelesis the fifth seed. It is an even matchup on paper but the Clippers showed who the better team is through four games. After stealing home court from Memphis, Los Angeles won two of the next three games en route to a 3-1 lead. With a great chance to close out last year’s playoff darlings, Los Angeles wasted a golden opportunity.
The Clipperswere repeatedly pounded inside by both Gasol and Zach Randolph in Game 5. Gasol created some space to facilitate and drive thus giving Randolph a lot of opportunities to operate down the right block. Memphis’ defense also ganged up the Clippers on the strong side of the floor. High pick-and-rolls and flare screens were anticipated very well and the result was definitely a loss for Los Angeles.
Aside from the loss, it seems that their all-stars could be limited on Game 6. Two-time all-star Blake Griffin suffered a sprained left knee while five-time all-star Chris Paul strained his right hip flexor along with jamming the middle finger on his right hand.
The electrifying Griffin injured his left knee after a hard foul coming from Grizzlies all-star Marc Gasol with 1:31 remaining in the third quarter. At the time of Griffin’s injury, the Clippers were already trailing by 17 points, 75-58. After the hard foul, Griffin stayed on the floor for a few minutes holding his left knee. He was surrounded by his teammates, coaches as well as team trainers. The 23-year-old Griffin was able to shoot free throws and stay for the rest of the quarter before staying on the bench at the start of the final period. He was able to finish the game and play 39 minutes registering 15 points and 11 rebounds. Griffin would be undergoing MRI on May 10 for further evaluation.
Paul, on the other hand, suffered the jammed finger during the first quarter and the right hip flexor strain in the fourth period. After experiencing a little sharp pain on the leg, Paul held his midsection for several possessions during the final minutes of the game. He checked out of the game with 1:24 remaining and his team down by eight. Paul would also be evaluated on May 10.
Both Griffin and Paul are hobbled with injuries and the team can’t just afford to lose both, even any one of them. Consider the fact that Memphis looks reenergized after the Game 5 win and it would really be a torturous next 48 hours for the owners of Los Angeles Clippers tickets.
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