Paul Shows His True Value As Clippers Drop Grizzlies, Move On To Face Spurs

HANG TIME PLAYOFF HEADQUARTERS — Now you know why the Lakers were in such an uproar when that Chris Paul trade fell through.

With a playoff series on the line in a Game 7 on the road in Memphis, a beat up and worn out Paul dragged the Los Angeles Clippers to the finish line against the Hang Time Grizzlies by sheer force of will. Then, the Clippers’ bench gave the final push Sunday at the FedEx Forum in the 82-72 win that sealed their date with the San Antonio Spurs in one Western Conference semifinal.

Through three quarters, however, it was all Paul. It was his toughness and relentless attacks on both ends of the floor that set the tone for the visitors and kept the home crowd from overwhelming the moment.

“I felt like we should have won earlier,” the always confident Paul said after leading the Clippers to just their third playoff series win in 41 years. “But it doesn’t matter. As long as you win, I think it is a step in the right direction for our franchise.”

He was so confident he bought plane tickets to San Antonio for his wife and son on Saturday. You don’t operate with that kind of confidence unless you know your will to win is greater than that of your competition. And time and again in this series, Paul showed himself as the superior competitor to anyone else on either side.

Much like he did in their miraculous Game 1 comeback win, Paul led the Clippers back from a double-digit deficit in a hostile environment and snatched the game away at “winning time” (with a huge assists from Nick Young, Eric BledsoeMo WilliamsKenyon Martin, Reggie Evans and the bench, which outscored the Grizzlies’ subs 41-11 Sunday).

And there are only a handful of players in the NBA you’d want on your side at “winning time” — Paul, Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade head up our short list.

In an environment where stars are lauded more for what they can do in the waning seconds of a close game than they can at perhaps any other time, Paul always seems to find his mark at the most opportune times. He finished with 19 points, nine rebounds and nine assists while playing with a painful right hip flexor.

“I haven’t worked that hard in my life,” an exhausted Paul said.

The Grizzlies will bellyache for days about missed opportunities and what should have been. But they gave the Clippers the opening twice on their home floor and both times, Paul and the Clippers did what they were supposed to do and took those games away.

Instead of playing to their obvious strength, inside through All-Star big men Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph and then out, the Grizzlies allowed this game to become a jump-shooting contest between perimeter players for most of Game 7. The Clippers won down the stretch thanks to Paul, those nine fourth quarter points from Young and the relentless rebounding of Martin and Evans.

“It was Game 7 pressure and jitters,” Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said. “We wanted to do well. We just wanted to let it rip. You walk up here and have two strikes on you in the ninth inning and you have to let it rip. And we didn’t.”

The Clippers will have no such luxury against the Spurs, the best team in the league during the regular season and arguably the most impressive so far during this postseason. The Spurs are well rested and motivated by the sting of their loss to the then-No. 8 seed Grizzlies in the first round last year. The wounded Clippers — both Paul and Blake Griffin (knee) — will hobble into San Antonio on just one day of rest.

That said, we’d be foolish to assume that Paul, and in turn the Clippers, won’t find a way to rise to the occasion. No one is crazy enough to pick the Clippers in the upset … well, expect for maybe Paul, who proved once again that some players are worth whatever sacrifice a franchise makes to get them.


  1. Resty says:

    Chirs Paul is yet to beaat the Spurs in a Playoff series

  2. Clint B. says:

    Dear CP3,

    You are the best PG in the game!! That is all…

  3. Clint B. says:

    All you Clipper Haters need to go somewhere and sitdown. They always have a chance because they have the Best PG on the Planet Mr. CP3!! As long as he is on the floor they have a chance. The more you guys hate on them the more it fuels this team!! You bums are lucky they don’t have Chauncey or we would be headed to the finals!!


    A Clipper Fan who wears reppellant

  4. Ozman says:

    Clippers have only got Paul, the rest won’t cut it against a great team like spurs

  5. sasquash says:

    I really can’t respect san antonio, there may be all this talk about experience and coach of the year, but this is the core of the same team that couldn’t handle the 8th seed last year
    Their jazz sweep tells us nothing,
    Now its time for these old hags to play a REAL TEAM
    The clippers are as deep, but even hungrier and ready to put parker, duncan, and/or ginobly in the retirement house

  6. albert says:

    i’m an avid spurs’ fan. but i also like how CP3 plays. seems both teams will be a handful for each other. hope spurs wins the series! go spurs!!!

  7. Cain Marko says:


    • clips58 says:

      yeah! agree, Exiting team to watch: clips, okc, and miami. Clips vs Okc in West Finals.

  8. BigDizzl says:

    Clips are lookin a bit broken, but the spurs are prone to breaking at any time (Ginobli = Mr Bean). I just think that the Spurs are too well oiled of a machine – Clips conference finalists for sure next year!

  9. clippers all day says:

    cp3, griffin, jordon, mo, young, froye, butler with a broken hand still played…

  10. clippers all day says:

    clippers will take it..mark my words…unfort. so will the dam lakers but i hope they dont…but go clippers…enjurys are getting to the top teams..the bulls now miami, spurs are next…clippers on top

  11. ForTheLoveOfTheGame says:

    It would have been better if the Grizz won the series but with the way they played this series against the Clips they won’t really have a good chance against the spurs. Banged-up clips will have difficulties unless CP3 will pull-off miraculous games. But nevertheless Spurs at 5. Give it to the Clips they can still win a game against the Spurs.

  12. Nam Nguyen says:

    It’s hard to predict the result, Clip will have chance if they can play as tough and physical as Griz last year. However, I’ll go with Spurs, 4-1 or 4-2

  13. clips58 says:

    i hav to reiterate wat i previously said. This will be the best 2nd round match-up. Too bad for clippers, griffin and paul got hurt. But im hoping they will be okay. Good players & good strategy are the advantages, but any team had a chance to win, since each player can possibly shoot the ball… Clips can match & can beat spurs.. Just to say to spurs fans “stop talking, let us see during the actions”.. Remember, Grizz fans were shut-up, they said b4, grizz will sweep clips, now what happen?

  14. OZMAN says:

    BE carefull clippers, you will need more than just PAul in this series

  15. Sparhawk says:

    Sadly its true, clippers get carried so heavily by Chris Paul its annoying to see. But when the clips pllay well they do great and one of the best teams in the league. Id say blake helps but LOL no, being the main scorer he should average more than 20. Even dirk had more than 20 points this year and he didnt play well at all. I think clips will beat spurs tho, unless spurs play dirty like usual.

  16. #21bestPFever says:


  17. notspurs says:

    let us just watch the game!we are not fortune tellers here…

  18. notspurs says:

    let us just watch the game!we are not fortune tellers here…

  19. kerl says:

    Paul, you are the best. The clippers should be a handfull to the spurs

  20. sam says:

    Clippers Got This!!

  21. Clips50fan says:

    spurs in 5 or 6 😦

  22. Noel Babasa says:

    How about Lakers vs. Clippers in the Western Finals? L.A. fans should be all happy about that.

  23. Chris says:

    oh Also, the Spurs are known to be weak to a heavy dose of pick-and-roll, thats how they got swept by the suns a couple years ago, remember that anyone?

  24. Apostolos says:

    The Clippers team deserves a lot more crredit
    Bledsoe basically shut down Conley and basically won game 7 for the Clippers(BLEDSOE ran the point in game 7 for most of the 4th quarter NOT CP3)
    Young made BIG shots in game one and 7(I don’t think It’s a coincidence CP3 brought him with him on the postgame interview<I think Cp3 knows how important Young can be for this team<good 3 point shooter from the corners that is highly needed on this team to stretch the floor for the bigs who can't shoot(aside for Blake and Kenyon on occasion.
    Kenyon shut down Randolph and Rudy Gay on almost every possesion
    Reggie Evans grabbed almost every defensive rebound when he was on the floor(even got a black eye for that hustle in game 6)

    *Oh and since game 5 Chris Paul can't run and Blake Griffin is still hobbled(off of the knee he missed a whole season on

    And one last thing for all the media that doesn't watch Clipper games (which is most) The Clippers have been winning DESPITE of Vinny del Negro and NOT because of Vinny Del Negro.The Clippers second unit (Bledsoe,Evans,Young,and Martin)had outplayed Memphis since game 1 but Vinny didn't figure that out till game 7

  25. Victor Manoel de Brito says:

    The Clippers, I’m sorry, have no chance, barring a major injury from a Spur like Parker or Duncan. It will be a good learning experience for the Clippers, anyway. Specially because Popovich is an expert in the dirty trick of the “Hack-a-(somebody)”. I see lots of “Hack-a-Griffin”, “Hack-a-Reggie” and “Hack-a-DeAndre” coming, and this just stinks…

  26. Xanadu says:

    Parker’s too fast and Pop’s too scary good. Spurs in 4

  27. LIL D says:


  28. teamSpurs says:

    this will be a game of coaches… strategies and plays…

  29. Clippernation says:

    The better team won! Clippers will beat the Spurs in six. Its going to an LA Western Conference Showdown!!!!

  30. Nguyen-Luan says:

    That is the things about sports in general. People say what is expected but until the teams played we don’t what is going to happen. In other words, the unexpected always gives the team not favored a chance.
    cp5 and W/E, I agree Paul is didn’t forget what happen in those playoffs, and add with his floater, defense don’t know
    if that is going to be an alley-op or an actual shot.

  31. Patrickmarc says:

    We can see how Chris Paul can run , and hesitate, and rush again,
    impossible to read what he is doing.
    In the other team they think about sending
    three men on his back, and sometimes he can get through them.

    He reminds me the great Messi, both have good legs, and both need three player to watch them,
    and it creates big holes in the paint.

  32. W/E says:

    clippers got NO CHANCE, chris paul got NO ONE to help him all bench players in his team,just look at griffin who is supposed to be the second best player on his team…he suuxs so much even reggie evans is better than him
    REGGIE EVANS >>BLAKE GRIFFIN damn they got no chance

    • ihatetheheat says:

      You have no clue blake griffen was a starter on the all star team probally gonna on the NBA third team maybe second and reggie evans is only good for rebounds.

  33. spade says:

    spurs in 4 or 5 it depends only on them, if they want to rest or not, but good thing for clippers they can learn from the experience

  34. NBA1 says:

    I am not a Spurs fan, but after seeing what they’ve done this season, to the Clippers and also the Lakers, I gotta respect them. Tony Parker deserves all the credit given to him as MVP candidate and Timmy just keeps proving father time wrong. Plus that team is deep and thier coach is scary good. But I doubt this will be easy as some make it out to be. The only things I worry about from the Clippers standpoint is Vinny, Blake’s health/play, and Jordan’s play-and I know those are big things. But if somehow atleast two of thos things work out, then I believe Chris Paul can will this team to new heights. Hopefully they can continue to shock the world! GO CLIPS!

  35. Mo says:

    i think first they have to play the Spurs with the same aggression as they did against the Grizz it isn’t the kind of game spurs like to play at their age they are the masters of easy buckets and smart play
    look at the jazz the actually more looked at them instead of play playoff bball against them
    second the whole team must learn to spread the court better to space for their scorer
    and third and last but the most important ALWAYS STAY CONFIDENT AND BELIEF IN YOURSELF AND YOUR TEAMMATES

  36. Amitpal says:

    That was a great serious win but I think spurs win 4-1. It’s obvious chris Paul is playing through some pain and doesn’t seem himself and I just think he’s to tired to will the clippers over the spurs. As an individual chris might have the most will but as a team the spurs have more will to win.

  37. hooplover says:

    spurs will have the clippers for breakfast, celtics will have spurs for brunch, and then the alimighty lakers will have the celtics for a full coarse meal! #lakersnation

    • Say what? says:

      Yeah, because that is how the playoffs work this year ,,,,

      • whataretard says:

        didn’t you know celtics are in the western conference and lakers are in the eastern conference?? duhh

    • uoykcuf says:

      how ironic, his nick is hooplover, either he is trolling or he’s just a F*retard

  38. tenten says:

    nah, cp3 is completely overrated, he was on the bench the whole time when the clips made the 4th quarter run to go up by 10 with bledso and mo

  39. cp3 da best pg says:

    clippers in 6

  40. cp5 says:

    Spurs in 4? LOL… They won’t… i probably believe clippers will win in 6 or 7, the clippers are younger but also veteran, k-mart and reggie evans can stop tim duncan, cp3 and bledsoe can stop parker, and ginobli will be hardly defended… Like cp3 said, its a mental series, they will be prepared. Trust me… Cp3 wants a revenge for that series he lost in round 2 against the spurs a few years ago

    • j says:

      hope what you saying is right that they wont guard ginobili because thats how spurs won game 7 in 2008, hornets let ginobili and tp get loose so they scored 62 (something like that) between the two.

    • Rick says:

      K_Mart, ohh him, he’s the one that always had a hard time when he played in denver and the spurs would whip them in 5 every yr..look up at your history

    • Dreday says:

      your comment is really ignorant. You cant just state that k-mart and evans will STOP duncan and cp3 and bledsoe can STOP parker. First of all spurs have a 10-11 man rotation and are lethal at the guard position (leonard, green, neal, parker, ginobili even jackson) so if parker is shut down they have plenty of other options. Secondly, spurs aren’t about man to man or star against star playing, they move the ball wonderfully and have proved to have a Barcelona like squad with their dominance and almost flawless game type. And so what if Paul wants revenge, everyone wants revenge, everyone is hungry to win a championship. If the clippers want to win a game this series theyll have to not shoot less than 60% at the line in the 4th quarter, and find a LEGITAMATE way to STOP parker ( maybe get him in foul trouble)

  41. BFoulds says:

    Spurs in 5 since Pop will want to keep the big 3 fresh for next round against the Thunder. I’ll give Clips the benefit of the doubt for 1 game, but that’s it. This is the best Spurs team since the twin towers.

  42. Belizeboy says:

    The Grizzilies were a tougher team to beat than San Antonio IMO, but San Antonio will win with Blake injured.

  43. Sam says:

    YEAH!!! GO CLIPS! Love the way Chris Paul battles! Smartest player in the NBA.

    Also, just going by the highlights, there doesn’t seem to be much respect for Vinny from Lionel Hollins…

    Vinny: “I’m going to give him a hug. Yeah, yeah!!!”

    Lionel: “I can’t believe I lost to THIS guy! Where’s Chris at???”

  44. Croakus says:

    I wouldn’t count these clippers out, they beat them in the regular season. I see another 7 game series.

  45. dsutt3 says:

    idk dont sleep on the thunder. durants pissed about not winning mvp again. sick of being second to lebron.

  46. tdistor says:

    The only reason why the Clippers won this series is because the Grizzlies played so bad that it was almost impossible for any other team to lose against them. Even the Bobcats would have a chance.

    Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo should think about refunding the tickets to all the people who attended the games and also apologizing for making their teammates effort so useless. And Hollins should stop coaching at this level.

    This things can happen when you are playing against a champion team, but not against these Clippers.

    • CAKid says:

      Sorry Dude – the better team just won.

    • teamSpurs says:

      they just so lucky last playoffs that they beat the spurs, so now they learn what is the feeling to lose in a game that they know they can beat…. hahaha sweet revenge speciallly the game 1 which they gave away to the clippers… it will hunt them forever

  47. tupark82 says:

    Call me crazy. I’m going with the Clippers in seven. With Paul and Bledsoe, they have pieces that can limit Tony Parker, and they will have a chance if they can slow down the motor of the Spurs. Spurs are deep, but as we’ve learned, so are the Clippers. The one thing that concerns me is the status of Griffin.

  48. erny7777 says:

    Good series but once again, winning for some teams is just a short time gift. They will loose in this round for sure. Spurs are headed to give it their all to prove age and expirience can win a championship again. But dont forget bout the heat on the other end. Lebron wants to prove he is the best and will do anything to show that.

  49. eknujsra says:

    I preferred to watch Spurs-Grizzles sad it didn’t happen..But the why Spurs is playing now, the Clips has no chance in a 7-game series…

    • dirk45 says:

      If I’ve learned one thing about NBA basketball you can never rule out a team in the playoffs. This is about matchups, willpower and coaches decisions and you cannot apply “trends” anymore. And while I agree that neither LA team looks to have a chance against the western top seeds we’ll all only know when the final ball has fallen.

  50. Marcus says:

    Spurs in four.

    • CAKid says:

      Becareful Spurs – you are just one turned ankle away in Parker or Mano and you will be the underdogs. Bottom line – Clippers beat the team you couldn’t without homecourt. This will be a six or seven game series. You may not want it to be and be damn sure this Clipper team will bang, they will be physical, and you will have to grind this series out if you want to win. Take CP3 and this team for granted and see what happens. Cant wait for Tuesday!

      • teamSpurs says:

        If you will review the games this season with the grizz and spurs, Spurs dominated… so if they faced in the playoffs now Spurs have a good chance of winning because last year is different, now spurs bench is great.

      • Jordan Wilson says:

        Be carefull you clippers you have just Chris Paul.

      • KPS says:

        “Be carefull you clippers you have just Chris Paul.” Are you serious about this comment? Did you not read the article? This series will not be easy for the Spurs. Even if they win in 4, the clips front line will make sure this series is a physical one.

      • jack says:

        The key last year was Zach Randolph making big shots, and Marc Gasol cleaning up the boards, Z-Bo wasnt as effective this year, yes spurs are old, yes one turned ankle and they might be down, but hey, its pop hes can make a title contender out of nearly any roster (exept Charlotte, lol jk)