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Z-Bo Returns, Leads Memphis Grizzlies Past LA Clippers with Triple Double: Final Score 113-102

The big man celebrated his return to action with his first career triple double. Give the man his key to the city, already.

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Lineup Notes

The Good News: Zach Randolph returned to the starting lineup after a 7-game absence (is that really all?). Vince Carter also returned off the bench late in the first quarter. Ray McCallum started at point guard, bringing the point-Lance era to an end.

The Bad News: Matt Barnes served a one-game suspension for chasing John Henson into the Bucks locker room to return a $5 bill that he dropped. Right, Matt?

Game Story

First Half

Z-Bo heralded his own return by starting 5-6 from the field, scoring 10 of Memphis' first 17 points. By the end of the first quarter, he had scored or assisted on 10 of the Grizzlies' 12 buckets. Missed ya, big fella.

The Grizzlies bench (such as it is) showed some flashes defending the lead – a Xavier Munford dunk, a Briante Weber steal and drop feed assist on the break – but the Clippers' hot three-point shooting kept them in the game. Neither team led by more than 4 in the second quarter, and a Tony Allen OREB and putback with 1 second left made it 58-58 at halftime.

Second Half

Randolph continued his triple double campaign in the third, not a friendly quarter for the Grizzlies in the last few weeks. The score finally opened up as the period dwindled, as Lance Stephenson hit a pair of free throws to give Memphis a 10-point lead with Chris Paul on the bench. This was part of a 16-2 run that included 5 Clippers turnovers, the first flash of familiar defense the Grizz have shown in a while.

After an extended absence, Chris Paul came back in the fourth and helped lead the Clippers back to within four. Paul vs. a 10-day contract PG down the stretch - that ends badly for us, right? Nah. McCallum started by stripping Paul on a fast break, then got hot on offense. After hitting a couple of jumpers, he took Randolph's 9th assist of the game and buried a triple to make it 100-89.

Zach's 10th assist came a few minutes later, a dime to a cutting Tony Allen to make it 108-96 and put the game on ice.

Doc Rivers waved the white flag soon thereafter, and Zach took to the bench to a "Z-Bo" chant from the sold-out FedExForum crowd.

Stat Leaders

Zach Randolph: 28 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists.

(Honorable mention to Ray McCallum, who out-dueled Chris Paul right when Paul looked like he was going to lead the Clippers back from the brink. If Z-Bo was the superhero in this one, Ray McCallum was his trusty sidekick with perfect dramatic timing.)