The Los Angeles Clippers were banged up on Friday night, but they had momentum and home-court advantage on their side. Despite falling behind early, they held an eight-point lead with eight minutes left in regulation. Despite all of that, they dropped Game 6 at the Staples Center to the Memphis Grizzlies and will now be hitting the road again to play an all-or-nothing Game 7 in enemy territory.
Give some credit to the Grizzlies. They had a lapse during that 10-0 Clippers run, but aside from that, this was their best fourth quarter of the series. For once, they didn't forget who they were. They got the ball to Gasol and Randolph inside, they pounded the boards, and that's how they won.
As I mentioned in the preview, to me this loss is not a disaster, it is not the death knell of the season. The condition of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin is a much bigger factor in the outcome of any game in this series than the venue of the game. The Clippers can certainly win Game 7 -- but not if Chris Paul has 0 points and one assist in the fourth quarter.
Paul and Griffin have a day off to get some more treatment, and maybe that will help, assuming that today's game didn't cause any specific setbacks. Generally speaking, if you play on an injury, it will serve to make you stronger the next time, as long as you don't do additional damage, so we might reasonably expect them to be better Sunday than they were today. Will it be good enough? We'll see on Sunday.
Clippers fans are certainly hoping against hope that this surprising, borderline-storybook season does not come to an ignominious end in Memphis.