Blake Griffin Injury: Los Angeles Clippers F Will Need to Dig Deep in Game 7

Los Angeles Clippers at Memphis Grizzlies
Sunday, 5/13/12, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  ABC
Opening Point Spread:  Memphis -6
Current Betting Line:  Memphis -8
Opening Total:  179.5
Current Total:  176.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Los Angeles Clippers are now looking to avoid elimination after holding a 3-1 series lead over the Memphis Grizzlies

Los Angeles was unable to close this best-of-seven series in Game 6, dropping a 90-88 decision to the Memphis Grizzlies as two-point home favorites on Friday night.  The Clippers were absolutely destroyed in the paint, getting outscored by a 48-26 margin, while being out-rebounded by 16.  Power forward Blake Griffin (knee) and point guard Chris Paul (hip) are both battling injuries that would likely keep them out of a regular season game, but are listed as probable for this contest.  Los Angeles is 10-17 ATS as a road underdog of 6.5 to 9 points the last two-plus seasons.

The Clippers have never won a Game 7 in franchise history, dropping a 127-107 affair to the Phoenix Suns on the road in 2006, while suffering a 115-96 setback to the Washington Bullets in 1975.  Only three current players on the roster have experienced such a contest, including Paul during his time with the New Orleans Hornets, scoring 18 points and dishing out 14 assists in a loss to the San Antonio Spurs on May 19, 2008.

Memphis is focused on simply becoming the ninth team in NBA history to rally back from a 3-1 deficit in a playoff series, as forward Zach Randolph starts to impose his will on the offensive end.  He scored 18 points and grabbed 16 rebounds despite being limited physically due to suffering a torn MCL earlier in the year.  Center Marc Gasol has also started to break through, adding a game-high 23 points, as Los Angeles’ interior defense has started to soften over the course of the series.  Memphis is 3-3 ATS as a home favorite of 6.5 to 9 points.

The Grizzlies need to avoid the temptation of looking ahead, as the revenge-minded San Antonio Spurs lie ahead.  Memphis shocked the NBA in knocking out San Antonio in last year’s playoffs.  It will be point guard Mike Conley’s job to direct the team inside the FedExForum, as he’s been tremendous throughout the series in matching up with Paul.  He only scored 13 points in Game 6, but dished off nine assists and hit three of five shots from beyond the arc.

Bettors will likely back the Grizzlies due to their 5-2-2 ATS mark as a favorite in the postseason, while the Clippers are 1-4-2 ATS as an underdog.

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