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Feel-good Grizzlies win over the Clippers, 106-102

On the tail end of a back-to-back, the Grizzlies took on the Clippers at Staples Center. The Grizz played a great game and came away with a 106-102 win, led by Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol.

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sport

Final - 11.18.2013 1 2 3 4 Total
Memphis Grizzlies 29 23 29 25 106
Los Angeles Clippers 20 31 30 21 102

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On the tail end of a back-to-back, the Memphis Grizzlies got the 7-4 Los Angeles Clippers on the road. The Clippers had won four straight... and we beat them in it-left-a-smile-on-your-face fashion.

The Grizzlies came out strong early, especially on defense.  The Clippers made just one of their first six shots, not reaching 5 points until 6:46 remaining. Even as one of the league's most up-tempo teams, they were held to just 20 points on 31.8% shooting from the field in the first quarter. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies scored 29 themelves. Zach Randolph had the hot hand to start. He scored 13 points in the first quarter, doing a lot of damage with a midrange jumper that has looked awfully sharp recently.

Then there was this fun incident late in the first, where Tony Allen somehow kicked Chris Paul in the face by accident (or at least it looked like an accident). Well, it was funny until TA picked up a flagrant-2 and got ejected (total BS, y'all). But, at least we'll always have this to laugh at. (via @HPbasketball)

The Clippers were able to claw their way back in the second quarter, however. On the back of some spirited fast break basketball and DeAndre Jordan's rebounding (especially on the offensive glass), they were able to pull within being down just one point at halftime, 52-51. DAJ had himself 7 boards in the second quarter (three offensive) while playing the entire second quarter, securing 12 boards overall in the first half. Also of note was Chris Paul, who nearly had the triple-double by halftime (8 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists – he finished the game just one rebound short).

The third quarter was a lot of back-and-forth, with both teams scoring with relative ease. The Grizzlies shot 61.9% while the Clippers shot 50.0%, although the Clips held a 8 to 1 advantage in free throws made. Marc was really aggressive in looking for his shot in the post, especially early in the quarter when the Clippers put a Blake Griffin with four fouls on him.

The fourth started with an interesting Bayless/Miller/Prince/Koufos/Gasol lineup, and let me tell you, this lineup was awesome. In spite of Conley being in foul trouble for much of the game, the ball movement had been on point for much of the game with the offense looking good running through Marc. With the lineup the Grizzlies started the fourth with, it was even better than on point. It was beautiful, and possibly as good as it has ever been at any point this season. Guys were passing without hesitation and we were getting good shots (there were probably a few more Tayshaun Princes than we should ever have, but whatever!). Conley had a solid fourth quarter, making a few jumpshots to keep us ahead, and Z-Bo iced the game with two free throws and a layup.

It was a great game overall from the Grizzlies, and I really have no idea how they only won by 4 points. Memphis shot 48.1% from the field, one of their better marks of the year, while the Clippers were held to 39.5%. To be fair, Blake had a good game with 23 points and 11 rebounds, and while CP3's shot was off, there was no denying his impact on the game.

Also, check out this gem from Kevin Lipe on Twitter:

Our three bigs were great tonight. Z-Bo led the team in scoring with 26 points on 10-of-15 shooting and collected 15 boards. Marc nearly had a triple-double with 23 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists, which is starting to feel like a nightly occurrence. In 18 minutes off of the bench, Koufos had 10 points, 9 rebounds and 4 blocks.

It's really starting to feel like this team has turned the corner after their slow start. We've won three straight games now, having beaten the Sacramento Kings and the Los Angeles Lakers in our last two games. This is definitely one of the high points of the season, with a well-executed win over one of our rivals and one of the best teams in the conference to start up a legit winning streak. Hell, we pulled this one off with Mike Conley in foul trouble for most of the game and Tony Allen ejected late in the first.

We're going to sleep happy tonight, guys. Even if Nick Calathes didn't play.

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