Clippers hang on to beat Grizzlies 94-86 for 5th straight win as playoffs loom



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LOS ANGELES — Don't ask the Los Angeles Clippers about their playoff seeding or first-round opponent.

They have no clue.

"When you figure it out let me know," coach Doc Rivers said after a 94-86 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night.

J.J. Redick and Blake Griffin scored 18 points each to help the Clippers take a step toward securing home-court advantage for the playoffs with their fifth win in a row. DeAndre Jordan had 16 points and 16 rebounds and Chris Paul had 15 points and 14 assists.

The Clippers moved into a three-way tie with Memphis and San Antonio for the No. 2 seed. They could still finish anywhere from second to sixth in the tightly bunched Western Conference. Wins in their last two games could allow the Clippers to open their fourth consecutive playoff appearance at home.

"It would be nice to get that No. 2 seed," Redick said. "We're going to need some help. We still feel like we have another level to get to."

Redick has made the playoffs in each of his nine seasons in the league.

"This might be the latest I've ever not known what seed we have," he said. "It's interesting and we're all paying attention to it for sure."

Zach Randolph had 21 points and 13 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who lost starter Marc Gasol to a sprained left ankle late in the first quarter. Beno Udrih, who finished with 14 points, also was out for a stretch after getting hit in the throat before returning in the game's closing minutes. Jeff Green added 15 points.

"There is history between our teams. Every game in April is like a playoff game," Udrih said. "We want home-court advantage in the playoffs, so nobody's going to back down. I'm not worried about Mark, he'll be back."

The Clippers blew an 11-point lead and Memphis tied it early in the fourth. Neither team led by more than three points for a stretch when they traded baskets. The Clippers got some breathing room on five straight points by Paul to make it 87-81. Griffin chipped in four in a row to give Los Angeles its largest lead of the fourth, 91-83.

Green hit Jordan in the face after Jordan had secured a rebound with 20 seconds left. Jordan made both, going 4 of 5 from the line in the game, while Green missed a 3-pointer in the waning seconds.

Memphis closed the third on a 10-0 run to trail 69-68. Lee scored six in a row after Udrih went down on the court and headed to the bench.

"We played good defense and made a lot of stops at the end of the third quarter to get back into the game but we couldn't finish it," Randolph said.

The Clippers outscored the Grizzlies 15-2, including 11 in a row, to take their largest lead, 69-58. Jordan highlighted the run with a putback dunk of Griffin's missed hook, while Matt Barnes, Griffin and Paul scored four each.

Things got testy when Kosta Koufos and Griffin fell down in unison, with Griffin landing on top of Koufos, who used two hands to push him off. Griffin grabbed at Koufos' jersey and both were assessed double technicals.

"We were both going for a rebound and fighting to get the ball," Koufos said.


TIP-INS

Grizzlies: G-F Tony Allen sat out his seventh straight game with a strained left hamstring. ... G Mike Conley missed his second game in a row with a sprained right foot. ... They split the season series 2-2.

Clippers: Jordan had his 45th double-double. ... They signed G Lester Hudson to a multi-year deal coming off his 10-day contract. He has averaged 2.3 points and 1.7 steals in three games. "He's a solid defender and I like his toughness," coach Doc Rivers said. ... New York Giants player Odell Beckham Jr. attended.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT

"This is the West. There's no playoff matchup you want to pick. Everyone is going to have a tough matchup in the first round." — Doc Rivers.

FREE SEATS

Paul gave his tickets away to some fans in Section 114, a reward for their dedication.

"I've known these guys since I've been traded here," he said. "Their energy is amazing."

UP NEXT

Grizzlies: At Golden State on Monday night.

Clippers: Host Denver on Monday night.

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