Clippers kick off key road trip in Memphis - Chicago Tribune

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Clippers kick off key road trip in Memphis - Chicago Tribune
Apr 9th 2012, 16:13

Sports Network

10:18 a.m. CDT, April 9, 2012

Two clubs trying to post up on each other in the Western Conference playoff race collide tonight on Beale Street, as the Los Angeles Clippers kick off a three-game road trip against the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Clippers are seeded fourth in the conference standings -- one-half game behind the rival Lakers and 1 1/2 games in front of the Grizzlies. Memphis is fifth in the West, sitting 1 1/2 games in front of Houston and two games ahead of defending champion Dallas.

Los Angeles is aiming to sweep the season series from Memphis for the first time since taking all three meetings back in 2006-07. The Clippers have won the first two matchups between the teams and four straight overall. They have won two in a row overall and eight of nine games, including Saturday's 109-94 triumph versus Sacramento in the back end of a home-and-home set. Blake Griffin had 27 points and 14 rebounds, and Randy Foye netted 25 points.

"In the second half, we did a lot better job defensively. All games are important to us right now," Griffin said. "We want to keep it going and improve on what we're doing."

Chris Paul added 19 points, 15 assists and seven steals for Los Angeles, which posted a 93-85 victory over the Kings on Thursday. Foye is averaging 20.2 ppg in his last six and his 25 three-pointers in that time lead the league. The Clippers are 13-13 away from home and will also visit Oklahoma City and Minnesota. They can climb back into the top spot in the Pacific Division with a win tonight coupled by a Lakers loss in New Orleans.

Meanwhile, the Grizzlies will resume a three-game homestand and opened the residency with Saturday's 94-89 victory versus the Mavericks.

Rudy Gay scored a game-high 25 points, Zach Randolph added 15 points and 11 rebounds and Gilbert Arenas netted 14 points for the Grizzlies, who have won two straight and seven of nine games.

"They just gutted it out," Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins said about his team. "The guys just compete and they just keep playing. No matter who you trot out there, they just compete and keep battling."

The Grizzlies are 19-7 at FedEx Forum this season and have ripped off four straight wins as the host. They will also invite Phoenix to Beale Street on this current homestand.

Memphis guard Tony Allen is listed as questionable for tonight with a lacerated lip. He has missed the previous two games and is averaging 10.5 ppg.

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