MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Bobby Simmons made sure the Los Angeles
Clippers got off to a good start on their nine-game trip.
Simmons scored seven of his 26 points in the final 3 minutes and
finished 10-of-12 from the field in the Clippers' 106-103 comeback
victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday night.
"It was all about execution," said Simmons, whose only two
misses came in the second quarter. "We were patient and able to
get the ball in the hands of guys to make plays."
Marko Jaric added 25 points, matching his career high, and had
six assists to help the Clippers win their third straight game and
snap a seven-game losing streak against the Grizzlies.
"We just lost our concentration when those guys were on
rolls," Memphis coach Mike Fratello said.
Memphis' Brian Cardinal missed a desperation shot from beyond
midcourt at the buzzer, sending the Grizzlies to their second loss
in their last seven games.
Elton Brand had 17 points and 11 rebounds for Los Angeles, and
Zeljko Rebraca added 14 points in a reserve role. The Clippers were
11-of-14 from the field in the fourth quarter and finished the game
at 60 percent -- the highest shooting percentage allowed by Memphis
"You have to give them credit, they made shots," said Mike
Miller, who led the Grizzlies with 16 points. "Anytime they make
shots, it's a lot more difficult to guard them."
Clippers leading scorer Corey Maggette sat out his third
straight game, while the Grizzlies were without guards Bonzi Wells
and Earl Watson, and leading scorer Pau Gasol and James Posey
remained on the injured list.
"I felt like we shouldn't just give up this game," Jaric said.
"Once we started playing stronger defense, I knew we would begin
to get open shots."
There was little separation between the teams in the early
stages. Neither held a lead of more than four points and both shot
well in the opening quarter. Simmons, who had 13 points in the
half, hit his first five shots, while Battier connected on his
first four en route to 10 points.
Memphis erased the Clippers' last lead of the half, putting
together a stretch of 11 straight points midway through the second,
building its lead to 53-42, and took a 53-46 lead into the dressing
Memphis hit its first five shots of the second half to build the
lead to 66-48. Jaric did everything he could to keep the Clippers
close, hitting all but one of his seven shots and scoring 16
points. Still, Memphis carried an 82-74 advantage into the final
They couldn't hold on through the final period, shooting 37
percent while committing four of their nine turnovers in the game.
"(Simmons) started off hot; Jaric had 16 in one quarter. It was
a combination," Wright said of the Clippers' comeback. "You just
can't blame it on one thing or mistake. They came out with a really
good team effort."
The Clippers had held their last 10 opponents under 100
points. ... Gasol, the Grizzlies' leading scorer and rebounder,
remained on the injured list with a foot injury even though he was
eligible to come off Thursday. Fratello gave no timetable for
Gasol's return. "He's got to be right," Fratello said. "We have
too much of our future invested in him. That's why no definite date
was given. We didn't say 12 days or 18 days or it'll be 24 days.
It's going to be when that's right." ... Maggette missed his third
straight game because of a collar bone injury. Quinton Ross, who is
filling Maggette's position, started his seventh consecutive game
at shooting guard.
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