Grizzlies eliminate Clippers, set to play Thunder - Mid-South News, Weather, Traffic and Sports | FOX13

Grizzlies eliminate Clippers, set to play Thunder

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Derric Curran / FOX13 News Derric Curran / FOX13 News
Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Paul goes to the basket in front of Memphis Grizzlies' Jerryd Bayless and Tayshaun Prince during the first half of Game 6 in a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Memphis, May 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston) Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Paul goes to the basket in front of Memphis Grizzlies' Jerryd Bayless and Tayshaun Prince during the first half of Game 6 in a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Memphis, May 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins talks to Memphis Grizzlies' Mike Conley during the first half of Game 6 in a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Memphis, Tenn., Friday, May 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston) Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins talks to Memphis Grizzlies' Mike Conley during the first half of Game 6 in a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Memphis, Tenn., Friday, May 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
Mike Conley of the Memphis Grizzlies drives against Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers during the first half of Game 6 in a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Memphis, Tenn., Friday, May 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston) Mike Conley of the Memphis Grizzlies drives against Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers during the first half of Game 6 in a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Memphis, Tenn., Friday, May 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
Memphis Grizzlies' Marc Gasol blocks a shot by Los Angeles Clippers' Caron Butler during the first half of Game 6 in a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Memphis, Tenn., Friday, May 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston) Memphis Grizzlies' Marc Gasol blocks a shot by Los Angeles Clippers' Caron Butler during the first half of Game 6 in a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Memphis, Tenn., Friday, May 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Zach Randolph and Mike Conley each scored 23 points as the Memphis Grizzlies eliminated the Los Angeles Clippers in six games, winning 118-105 and advances to the Western Conference semifinals against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Grizzlies advance to their second Western Conference semifinals in three seasons.

Game One of the Western Conference semifinals between the fifth-seeded Grizzlies and top-seeded Thunder will be Sunday in Oklahoma City. The Thunder eliminated the Rockets, 103-94 in Houston Friday evening, to win their opening playoff series in six games.

Game One tip-off is 12 noon CDT. It will be a rematch of the Grizzlies' only other Western semifinal that the Thunder won in seven in 2011.

The Grizzlies had never won four straight postseason games before this series, and they became only the 10th team in NBA history to win four straight after trailing 0-2.

Memphis finished with seven players in double figures. Tony Allen had a postseason-best 19 points, and Jerryd Bayless had 16.

Reserve Matt Barnes scored a career playoff-best 30 points for Los Angeles. Chris Paul had 28 points before being ejected with 2:29 left protesting a foul called on Barnes. Blake Griffin didn't start because of his sprained right ankle, and he scored nine points in 14 minutes. Caron Butler added 14.

NBA Commissioner David Stern was on hand along with Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones. Conley had old Ohio State teammate Greg Oden in the arena as well.

Having the commissioner on hand didn't slow anyone down in a game featuring lots of headlocks and knockdowns with the only thing missing a steel cage as they combined for seven technicals. Even Grant Hill had three fouls in 3 minutes himself in the first half, and Chauncey Billups got a flagrant-1.

Randolph was ejected, too, with 1:57 remaining. He tossed his headband toward the stands and celebrated as he walked to the locker room.

The Clippers set a franchise record going 56-32 in the regular season, earning the No. 4 seed. They won the first two in Los Angeles but came into Game 6 trying to avoid being eliminated by the team they beat in seven in the first round a year ago. They had hoped to force Game 7 back in Los Angeles on Sunday only to lose four consecutive games for only the third time all season.

Los Angeles led only once - at 45-44 on Barnes' fourth 3-pointer with 5:08 left in the second quarter. The teams had four more ties before Quincy Pondexter hit a 3 with 2:02 left putting the Grizzlies ahead to stay at 54-51.

The Clippers had one last run, a 10-1 spurt capped by Butler's 20-foot jumper with 5:16 left pulling them within 103-97. Conley hit a 3 followed by a 3 from Bayless, and Randolph's scored inside with 3:06 remaining to push the lead back to double digits at 111-99.

It was so physical that Memphis coach Lionel Hollins sprinted onto the court in the second quarter after Butler went over Gasol's back for a rebound, leaving the Grizzlies center on the court pushing Butler's leg away as he got up. Billups had as many fouls (four) as points (four). He got a flagrant-1 in the third when he put his body into Conley trying to stop a fast-break layup attempt and putting his right arm around Conley's neck as they went to the floor.

Conley hit the free throws, then hit a 3-pointer from the left corner giving the Grizzlies a 74-61 lead with 7:11 left.

After the bucket, Randolph and Griffin wrestled themselves to the court in a tangle of bodies. That earned the duo their fourth double-foul in this series with Randolph getting a technical. Paul picked up his own technical from referee Joey Crawford for his disgust when Randolph scored and picked up the foul.

Griffin was called for a technical himself in the fourth when he knocked down Allen on a drive to the basket after the Grizzlies guard already had been fouled by Barnes. Bayless hit the free throw for the technical, and Allen added his two pushing the lead back to 97-87.

NOTES: Hollins played for one of the nine teams that rallied from an 0-2 deficit. He was with Portland in 1977 when the Trail Blazers rallied to beat Philadelphia for the NBA championship. ... The Clippers did manage to snap a streak by the Grizzlies. Memphis had held opponents to 25 points or fewer in the third quarter in 52 straight games since Jan. 14, a streak 25 games longer than any other in the shot clock era. But the Clippers scored 26 in the third. ... Memphis went 23-1 in the regular season when scoring at least 100 points and is 3-0 in the postseason.

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Associated Press writer Teresa M. Walker contributed to this report.

 

 

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