Jamal Crawford scored 29 points in his debut with the Los Angeles Clippers as they beat the the Memphis Grizzlies 101-92 on Wednesday night in a reamatch of last season’s seven game playoff series won by the Clippers. Crawford came off the bench to score 29 points in 30 minutes and the Clippers converted 29 points off Grizzlies turnovers to come from behind in the fourth quarter to win.
Blake Griffin was held to 10 points and Chris Paul to 12 although he dished out 12 assists. But Crawford was there to pick up the scoring slack for Los Angeles. ”How many nights are you going to hold Blake to 10 points and me to 12? It’s fun to be a part of this, to have guys come off the bench like Jamal and score effortlessly,” Paul said. ”Me and Grant Hill have been trying to come up with a nickname for him – not ‘The Microwave,’ because that doesn’t really stay hot. So we’re trying to come up with something that does.”
The Grizzlies have not won on opening night since moving to Memphis 12 seasons ago. They were led by Rudy Gay with 25 points and Marc Gasol with 20 points. Zach Randolph, who had 15 points and 16 rebounds, and Blake Griffin waged quite a physical battle down low late in the game with each receiving a technical foul after one exchange.
”We didn’t get defensive stops, and I didn’t play good,” Randolph said. ”We broke down on some defensive plays toward the end. We all have to put a whole game together in order for us to get a game like this.”
Crawford drained a crucial three-pointer to make the score 96-90 L.A. with 2:41 to go. With 1:05 left, Jordan scored on an alley-oop from Paul to extend the lead to nine points when Mike Conley was called for goal tending on the play.
The Clippers will play the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night and will try to keep them winless on the young season.