For the first time in their franchise history, the Los Angeles Clippers have won a seventh game of a playoff series. Third time was a charm for the Clippers, both in their franchise Game 7 history and in this first round NBA playoff series, as the Clippers eliminated the Grizzlies with a 82-72 win Sunday afternoon at FedEx Forum in Memphis.
It was the first win by a road team in Game 7 of a playoff series since the Orlando Magic beat the Boston Celtics in Boston in the first round in 2009. With the Clippers' win, road teams improved to 22-87 (.202) all-time in NBA playoff history.
Chris Paul had 19 points, four assists, and nine rebounds to lead the Clippers to their first Game 7 win in franchise history. They had lost their previous two Game 7 attempts, 2006 in Phoenix and 1975 in Washington, the latter when the franchise was the Buffalo Braves.
The Clippers held a 3-1 series lead over Memphis but losses in Game 5 and Game 6 put them in the prevarious position of having to win a road game to advance. Which they did.
The Clippers trailed by a point heading into the fourth quarter, but outscored Memphis 27-16 in the fourth quarter, thanks in part to stellar play from Eric Beldsoe off the bench. Bledsoe finished with six points and three assists in 14 minutes.
Blake Griffin sat for most of the fourth, finishing with eight points and four rebounds in 28 minutes.
The Clippers advance to play the San Antonio Spurs, the top seed in the Western Conference, in the second round, which begins Tuesday night in San Antonio.