Thu, 13 May 2021

Grizzlies aim to beat Clippers after tough loss

Field Level Media
21 Apr 2021, 22:55 GMT+10

The Memphis Grizzlies will look for a bit of redemption on the road against the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night after losing a double-overtime game against the Denver Nuggets on Monday.

Memphis led by 12 with 3:52 left. However, the Nuggets tied the score on two free throws by Nikola Jokic with 20 seconds left, and Denver earned the 139-137 victory in the second overtime.

While the Grizzlies suffered the tough road loss, they could get an impact player back with Jaren Jackson Jr. scheduled to return soon. The 7-footer has not played since suffering a season-ending torn meniscus in his left knee that required surgery after play in the NBA Orlando bubble last season.

However, Jackson was listed as doubtful on the injury report by Memphis this week, a hint he's close to returning to the floor.

Jackson's possible return comes at a good time for the Grizzlies, as they sit at the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference at 29-27 and are battling for a playoff spot.

"We can play with the top teams in this league," Ja Morant said after his team's loss to the Nuggets. "I'm not saying we lacked for confidence or didn't think we could. But it just proves that we can compete against the best. We just have to go and continue to play hard."

Memphis has won six of its past eight games on the road and is 2-1 in its current seven-game trip.

The Grizzlies face another top team in the Clippers. At 41-19, Los Angeles is No. 3 in the Western Conference, having won 15 of its past 18 games.

"No one's out here looking to get numbers, pad stats or get their own," the Clippers' Paul George said about his team's recent success. "We bought in. That's the key to it. We bought in to team basketball."

The Clippers will have to play without superstar Kawhi Leonard for an extended period. Los Angeles announced on Tuesday before the team's game against the Portland Trail Blazers that Leonard will miss at least the next three games in an attempt to get his sore right foot healthy.

Leonard will have his foot re-evaluated next week.

"He wants to play, he wants to get out there," Clippers coach Tyronn Lue told The Orange County Register. "But it's just smart to do it (rest him) right now. With the doctors and the sports science guys and the trainers we have, sometimes we got to protect the players from themselves. And right now, we are doing the right thing by Kawhi."

With Leonard unavailable, George continues to carry the Clippers offensively. George has 30-plus points in six of his past seven games and finished with 33 points and 11 rebounds in a 113-112 victory against host Portland on Tuesday.

One player making an impact on a regular basis since joining the Clippers at the trade deadline is Rajon Rondo. The veteran 35-year-old point guard finished with nine points, seven assists and six rebounds in 22 minutes against the Blazers.

"My job and what I pride myself on is to continue to push the pace," Rondo said. "The passes may come even when you may not expect it. So whenever I'm on the floor, they should expect a pass. I'm a pass-first point guard, so just have your hands ready."

--Field Level Media

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