Having lost home-court advantage, the Memphis Grizzlies will try to regain their wits after blowing a huge lead in the series opener against the Los Angeles Clippers. Memphis can ill afford to fall into a 2-0 hole when it hosts the Grizzles on Wednesday night in Game 2 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series. Memphis led by as many as 27 points and entered the fourth quarter with a 21-point cushion, tying a playoff record for the largest blown lead in the postseason.
Clippers Grizzlies Betting
When: 9:30 PM ET, Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Where: FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee
TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, TNT, FSTN
Los Angeles Clippers: Lost in the afterglow of the stunning comeback was an injury to starting forward Caron Butler, who is out four to six weeks with a broken hand. That underscored the importance of acquiring reserve swingman Nick Young in a midseason trade with the Washington Wizards. Young was sensational down the stretch in Game 1, burying three 3-pointers in a 60-second span and finishing with a team-high 19 points. That matched his season-high output since joining the Clippers. Los Angeles head coach Vinny Del Negro said he may start veteran Bobby Simmons in place of Butler and keep Young in his role as sixth man.
Memphis Grizzlies: Memphis played a near-perfect three quarters before the collapse and must overcome the emotional wreckage of a loss that center Marc Gasol admitted was “heartbreaking.” Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins made a somewhat curious choice to start Zach Randolph, who came off the bench in 20 of the final 24 games after missing 2 1/2 months with a torn medial collateral ligament. The hero of last season’s playoffs, Randolph scored only six points on 3-of-13 shooting. Memphis went 37-17 with Marreese Speights in the starting lineup and 23-14 while Randolph was sidelined. With Randolph in a reserve role, the bench averaged a shade over 36 points per game.
1. Led by PG Chris Paul, Los Angeles had a league-high 14 regular-season wins when trailing by at least 10 points.
2. Three teams have blown 18-point leads in the postseason – and all three (Dallas 2011; New Jersey 2002; Houston 1994) advanced to the NBA Finals. The Mavericks and Rockets each won championships.
3. Memphis has dropped three of four meetings with the Clippers this season and had its 11-game home winning streak snapped.
PREDICTION: Grizzlies 96, Clippers 92. CLICK HERE for 500 Handicappers Package FOR 5$