Reserves Jamal Crawford and Matt Barnes each scored 16 points, and the Clippers easily routed the Memphis Grizzlies 99-73 Monday night with Chris Paul missing his first game this season because of a bruised right kneecap.
The matchup between two of the best teams in the West wasn't close much of the way. While Paul watched from the bench, the Grizzlies were without their leading scorer: Rudy Gay was excused for his grandmother's funeral in Baltimore.
This also was the Clippers' first trip to Memphis since they won Game 7 of their opening-round playoff series last May, and they held the Grizzles to a season-low in points while matching their largest-margin of victory on the road this season.
Eric Bledsoe, starting for Paul, had 14 points, and Blake Griffin scored 10.
Zach Randolph had 15 for Memphis, which lost its second straight. Wayne Ellington added 11 in a rare start, and Darrell Arthur had 10.
Both teams were coming off losses, but the Clippers responded much better to being without their point guard on the first night of back-to-back road games. The Clippers scored the first five points of the game and went on a 17-2 run in grabbing a 32-19 lead. When Memphis pulled to 36-30, the Clippers answered with a 17-4 spurt and led 53-34 at halftime.
Los Angeles got a big boost from its bench, which outscored Memphis 28-4 in the first half and finished with a 54-26 edge. The Clippers' advantage was so big Griffin played only 25 minutes.
The Grizzlies brought back rookie Tony Wroten from Reno in the NBA D-League for depth. Memphis coach Lionel Hollins even joked before the game who he'd be subbing in since he started Ellington.
Memphis had its lowest scoring half this season in what was just part of an ugly night all around. The Grizzlies passed 20 points only in the fourth quarter (21) and were so sloppy that Mike Conley stole the ball off Griffin's pass only to hit Tony Allen in the face with a pass on the other end in the half.
The Clippers didn't ease up in the second half either, opening the third quarter with a 15-6 edge. They pushed their lead to 16 points, 68-42, on a pair of free throws by Bledsoe with 4:03 left in the third, and Ryan Hollins' alley-oop dunk with 2:41 gave the Clippers their biggest lead of the night, 95-68.
NOTES: The Clippers also won by 26 Dec. 15 at Milwaukee. ... The Clippers are 22-6 when their reserves outscore the opponent's bench. ... The Clippers now are 23-2 when leading after the first quarter. They came in second-best in the NBA in that category. ... The Clippers' largest road victory was by 28 on Nov. 6, 2009, at Golden State. ... The Grizzlies' previous low first half was 37 points Dec. 29 against Denver, and they had just 36 against Atlanta on Dec. 8 in the second half. ... Memphis scored 80 twice previously this season, winning Dec. 17 against Chicago the last time.
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