Don’t Go To Sleep On The Clippers!





OKLAHOMA CITY – Something told me not to turn away, not to go to sleep on the final game of wild and crazy opening weekend of the NBA playoffs.

Even when the Grizzlies lead reached 27 points and the crowd was losing its collective mind at the sight of the home team roasting the Los Angeles Clippers, my basketball conscience wouldn’t let me turn the channel.

For the longest time it was like watching one of those Animal Planet specials where the water buffalo are trying to cross the river and the crocodiles keep snatching them and dragging them under water. You want to stop watching … but you can’t.

But this time, the water buffalo turned the tables at the end.

I’ll never go to sleep early on these games again. Not after what the Clippers did last night, staging an epic comeback and finishing the game on a 28-3 run, sparked by a Reggie Evans layup with 7:54 to play, to shock Memphis and the Grizzlies with a 99-98 Game 1 win.

I’d have never believed it if I hadn’t watched it for myself.  And it’s always fun witnessing history, even if it comes at the expense of our beloved Hang Time Grizzlies.

Speaking of history, the Clippers had some on their side this season. Fifteen times they won games after trailing by 10 or more points, per Elias Sports. But down 27 in the Grind House … when the Grizzlies had it working in ever way imaginable, including my main man Zach Randolph doing push ups … and with Chris Paul struggling with that groin injury … Caron Butler in a suit after breaking his hand … and Blake Griffin just struggling in his playoff debut … there was no way this was happening.

Oh, but it did.

Paul came through as he almost always does at winning time, dishing out seven assists in the fourth quarter alone. Nick Young nailed those three monster 3-pointers Reggie Miller-style (all in one minute) and the Clippers flipped the script in the toughness department, out-rebounding the Grizzlies 16-4.

When Kenyon Martin stuck that hand in Rudy Gay‘s face to bother that last shot, there were no miracles left in the building. The Grizzlies’ nine-minute scoring drought was just as startling as the comeback.

And to think, you went to sleep on the the whole thing. Just as improbable as the comeback were the unlikely folks who fueled it, as ESPN.com’s Kevin Arnovitz explains:

Somehow, Evans made the bookend buckets during that 26-1 run — a layup that started it, then another after he caught a pass on the move from Paul on a pick-and-roll. If Evans has ever finished a play so artfully before — much less one at such a crucial juncture — please send over the tape.

“We just chipped away, chipped away,” Evans said. “Then all of a sudden you could just feel it. You could see it in [the Grizzlies'] eyes. You could feel that heartbeat. It started changing, and we took advantage.”

Then there’s the case of Nick Young, whom the Clippers acquired at the trade deadline. Young didn’t shoot 50 percent in a game until his 17th game as a Clipper. But in a span of one minute on Sunday night, Young drained three 3-pointers to shave a 12-point Memphis lead down to only three.

When asked to comment on the explosion, the kid they call Swaggy P credited his performance to his silk-backed denim shirt, a sartorial monstrosity that his teammates allowed him to show off only because of his heroics. After a full 360-degree turn at his locker for full effect, Young spoke about the trio of shots, all assisted by crafty feeds from Paul.

“I’m learning how to play with each guy and pick my spots and I’m starting get my groove,” Young said. “Chris is dangerous. If somebody is going to step up to help on him, he’s going to drive. And I was wide open.”

The toughest math for the Clippers to endure this season has been Griffin’s foul-shooting woes. Griffin shot only 52 percent from the line this season, but the Clippers desperately needed him to drain a pair with 1:30 remaining and still trailing by three.

” I remember standing right behind [Griffin] and saying, ‘Give us these two,’” Paul said.

Again, the Clippers beat the odds. Although Griffin isn’t much better than a 50-50 proposition at the line, he sank both.

“We were down one and [Griffin] has given us a chance,” Paul said.

Paul capped the night with a wildly entertaining postgame interview (below) with TNT’s Craig “Easter Passed” Sager.

It was the perfect ending to a fantastically dramatic opening weekend, that included highs (Kevin Durant‘s game winner here Saturday night), lows (ACL injuries to Derrick Rose in Chicago and Iman Shumpert in Miami), a brain freeze moment (for Rajon Rondo in Atlanta) and a comeback for the ages in Memphis.

If you blink, you might miss a season-defining moment for some player or some team. Get some rest another time.

And remember, don’t go to sleep on the Clippers ever again!


38 Comments

  1. Jones17 says:

    Not a chance without Billups and Butler. Mo banged up a little aswell. Grizzlies will win this series and you glory Clipper fans (the ones who clearly weren’t clips before CP3) can go support someone else winning…

  2. gil says:

    hahahahahahahahah!

  3. boomboom says:

    daaaaang! awesome game! the coach was ready to give up in the 3rd quarter by taking out cp3 but chris said “give us a chance, give us a chance coach” the coach really believed in a future hall of famer chris paul. and he came up BIG!

  4. Stan says:

    Reggie Evans why was he on the bench for the last 2 clipper games? Reggie was key in the clippers comeback playing great defense and grabbing rebounds to get the clippers those extra chances they needed. Hopefully he will get some more playing time during the playoffs, because he is the best rebounder in the NBA. Clipper fans love him too chanting Reggie Reggie Reggie they appreciate the effort he gives.

  5. clips58 says:

    That’s what the grizzlies fans saying “griz will sweep clips”? hahaha.. now what? “Clippers sweep the 27 point lead of the grizzlies”…and now clippers fans can say “Clippers can sweep the grizzlies in the series”.. Very exciting watch anyway. We are hoping clippers can play the Finals.

  6. GV says:

    Great game Clippers good come-back. I am sporting my team’s colors with my Chris Paul jersey and shirt. LAC all the way! Best of luck.

  7. CS9 says:

    this was abosolutley amazing

  8. shav says:

    i doubt most of these clipper fans are actual fans?! i mean i live in aus and i watch every single game no matter what the outcome especially a playoff game after 6 years! i wish i could go to at least one game! shame..

  9. Clippshow says:

    i watched the game through the pain because if i quit on them then why wouldnt they quit on the game. ive beena clips fan since ’08 season. my first asketball game ive ever been too was a clippers game and i will ALWAYS be a clipper fan.

  10. Jose (clipper Nation) says:

    Oh Me Oh My! What a comeback play by the Clippers! They were down over 25 points and came back to win. What a game for the Clippers. Oh Me Oh My! Oh My Goodness.

  11. blair56 says:

    Nick Young won’t be hearing the media talk any trash about him for a while. What’s that noise? It sounds like a bandwagon is approaching!

  12. Croakus says:

    I was pissed and I was about to change the channel, but then I thought well it still in the 3rd quarter, lots of time left,but I thought they would need a miracle, who would have thought! LOL!

  13. Rich says:

    Somehow I couldn’t stop watching last night also. I was actually enjoying the slaughter. I always hated CP3, for as long as I remember him being with the other thug- DWest. But then, seeing Paul still playing down 27 and the Grizz hitting from almost everywhere, slowly my enjoyment is turning into a admiration on that kid. He just ket on pushing and everybody chipped in, without resorting to any frustration, silly fouls that other teams would’ve eapsily fall into doing. And then boom, at a regularly increasing pace the Clippers points starting to pour in, down 3, down 1, then UP 1 ! Dang ! CP3 and the rest of the Clips even to my man Caron, last night you were the man and I hope you beat the Grizz !!

  14. HeatKingOfEast says:

    damn! i was watching this game, and i got bored and just went to sleep, when i woke up, omg! the clips won! ahjahahahah

  15. CP3 for MVP says:

    I took notice when he torched the Lakers last season in the playoffs…he’s a baller!

    Lob City is only going to get better thanks to a future hall of famer in CP3!

  16. alberto says:

    I see this game, and I think the clips should see alot of moral victories and know that they should be in Memphis’ head right now..

    Memphis DOES not shoot that well, from beyond the arc, they took the BEST Memphis could muster and still won the game, to be honest, having almost everyone having a bad game, and them being on fire, and still winning I hope the clippers use that to their advantage and come out with the same intensity they ended the game with, if they do I think it will put the grizz back on their heels, and give the clippers a 2-0 lead heading home.

  17. DWM says:

    Clippers fans should know that this isn’t the first time Clippers have come back from a deficit to win. It’s happened 14 times before this game! That’s only counting times they’ve won!! They usually play a close game.
    I didn’t think they’d win, but I knew they’d catch up and make it a close game. I could not believe it when they took the lead. Nick was amazing and so was Blake hitting those free throws!

    Can’t wait for Wednesday!

  18. god says:

    I think the Grizzlies will still take the series. They looked so nice for three quarters, they just got sloppy and lazy with the huge lead. This is going to be a good series though.

  19. That was a good game i watched the whole game and the clippers impreesed me how they came back cp3 was ballin nick young was good reggie evans was aggresive on zbo what a come back.

  20. chewingvampire says:

    With less than 10 minutes to go in the 4th qtr, we were still down by 23 points, even worse than at the halftime mark. I told my bf, better luck in Game 2. Then they started fighting for the rebounds, and playing like they want it. A lot of bad officiating throughout the game and too many turnovers no thanks to the bad calls. Nonetheless, we endured through all that and started defending so well and getting the rebounds. It was beautiful to watch. Thank you CP3 for bringing out the best in everyone :)

  21. Ben H. says:

    Great win for the Clipps, very impressive. But Chris Paul said it best in his post game interview…the Clipps are going to have to come out ready the first 2 quarters. They need to make necessary adjustments from watching the film and come out firing. Because the Grizz are always a dangerous team.

  22. YEE BOII says:

    Im glad this was a road win! if they lose game two, im hoping the clippers can win their two home games thus making it a 3-1 series heading back to Memphis.

  23. TL says:

    The game bored from the start and as a Clippers fan, I see no hope after the half. Like many, many people, I blindly turned the TV off to do something else (being the weekend and all). To my surprise, my girlfriend was keeping tabs on them online on her iPad. 4th quarter run? Down by 27? I had to watch. So I began watching the last 5-minutes of the game and boy was it a good one. I will never turn away from a game again. Greatest comeback in NBA history, but a quiet one.

  24. docstone says:

    I read all the dribble from all you so called “basketball fans / experts” who love to put down the Clippers, it’s fun for me to see all this intelligence on display. Despite all the negativity and all the key injuries and all the bad history and all the “so called curses” look where the Clippers are today. They cannot be denied. The Clippers will probably not win it all this time round but look out because Clipper Nation is on the rise and very soon The Clippers will be raising a Championship banner in Staples Center.

  25. Duane says:

    Wow, great comeback! I almost turned the channel in the 4th, but stayed tuned, glad I did, what a finish! I didn’t think the Clips had it in them, especially the way they had fallen into their old ways toward the end of the season. Looked like everybody in Mem. was SHOCKED, the crowd didn’t know what to do when the buzzer sounded, some looked like they were chocking on something as much as their team did.

    And here, I, as a Spurs fan wanted to see some revenge in Round 2, as did the Spurs themselves, but now the Clips may have put a crimp in that. Good job, Clips, hope to see you in Round 2!

  26. Cali says:

    I watched… and idk if it was just me, but for some reason this was the most boring (yet biggest) comeback I’ve ever seen. Even the announcers didn’t seem to be worried about the Clips coming back, until Young hit those 3′s.

    • bryce says:

      Its probably just u. That was probably the best clippers game i have ever watched. The fact that no one was expecting the comeback made it so much better when the clippers came back. with 3 minutes left when the clippers r down by 12 i had pretty much lost hope but i had a bit because of the run they had. when young made those threes i was so happy but the suspense of the game almost killed me

  27. jbusa1 says:

    I am a hard-core Clippers fan, and I too almost turned off the TV and walked away in disgust at the start of the 4th. The Clips looked terrible and were getting waxed. Then….Reggie becomes a scoring machine and Blake makes foul shots? I thought I’d fallen asleep on the couch and was dreaming.

  28. Clip Nation says:

    While losing Butler hurts, I don’t think it will effect the clips play all that much. Caron has dropped off severely towards the end of the season, often not even on the floor at the end of games, and Nick Young will be a solid replacement. Clippers aren’t very deep at the 3 spot unfortunately and I don’t expect the Clippers to win it this year, after all they have only played 1 shortened season together. Im just looking for them to get as much solid playoff experience as they can and this 1st win was huge for them.

    What a game…I might have turned it off but when CP3 got a technical foul when they were down big, I saw how serious he was, and decided to watch the rest. And while I said I don’t think the Clips can win it this year you can never call CP3 out of a game.

  29. Jay says:

    Like I posted before it is something that few players can do… It is a Rose, Durant, Bryant and Paul gift that you can not coach and if your team ever gets one of these gems enjoy it. The Grizzlies have a solid team but I’ll say it again… no real “GO TO” guy. Gay? No. Randolph? no. Gasol? No. When the three’s sank by Young it was all over for Memphis even though they still led. The lok in their eyes was FEAR. Great teams have fearless players not just good players.

    Chris Paul didn’t hit those big shots but he fed them to the guy he knew was hot… perfectly. The Clippers are YOUNG and a WORK in PROGRESS….. Imagine just a couple of years together and you may see GREATNESS.

    • Rocketboi not a Griz fan says:

      Im not a Griz fan by any means, but that was a foolish comment. You must have seen all the game winners Rudy has hit, or you didnt watch the Griz vs Spurs last year and that was with out Gay. If you think Griz dont have it you dont know basketball…i hoped game 2 showed you that the Griz arent an easy out.

  30. banks says:

    I was at this game, OMG we were HYPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPE, and then the fourth quarter came, for some reason we stopped feeling the energy, as if we were bored now that we were winning by too much, and we let the clippers take over grizzlies

  31. Roy says:

    Savour this while you can Clippers fans, because there is no way your team is winning without Butler and Chauncey lol

  32. Sam says:

    I missed the entire game man…… I saw the Clips trailing by 20 after 3rd & switched…… How i regret that decision now….. My friend who’s a Grizzly fan came up to me hit me in the back & said “That sneaky team has eeked out a victory”. I went on to NBA.com to find an amazing turn of events…. Dnt count the Clips out yet….. Would love to see an LA West Conference final but I know that’s a very very very very long shot….. :-)

    • MikeB. says:

      speaking as a hornet fan,(that a boy) MP3. we knew you was the real deal when you left. the BIG EASY still love you and pulling for you to take the ring this year, but next year don’t sleep on the HORNETS.

    • Clippers Fan says:

      I did the same thing. I didn’t watch the game because I didn’t want to feel pain. Now I am regreting and watched the highlight 15 times already.

  33. allaroundballer says:

    Great! Too bad it costs Butler cause Clippers facing a team with scoring SF. After Billups now this. C’mon Clip, I hate those curse thing. Beat it !!!