Memphis Grizzlies at Los Angeles Clippers
Monday, 5/7/12, 10:30 PM EST, TV: TNT
Opening Point Spread: Los Angeles -2.5
Current Betting Line: Los Angeles -1.5
Opening Total: 182.5
Current Total: 182
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Memphis suffered an 87-86 loss in Game 3 against the Los Angeles Clippers in its best-of-seven Western Conference first-round series, as forward Rudy Gay’s last-second chance fell just short. The Grizzlies will need to get physical in order to tie the series at two games apiece before heading back to Memphis for Game 5. “We’re supposed to have a physical team, but they did to us what we’re supposed to do to them,” stated Gay after the contest. Despite being down 2-1, the squad actually leads the scoreboard 289-284 in overall scoring. Memphis is 13-12 ATS as an underdog this year, with the “under” being 18-7 in that situation.
The Grizzlies have to be shocked that they didn’t pull out Saturday’s contest, considering they made 30 of 39 free throws, while their opponent went 13 of 30 from the charity stripe. Memphis point guard Mike Conley is enjoying a solid postseason, ranking fourth in the NBA in averaging 7.3 assists, while sitting tied-for-sixth in shooting 54.5 percent from beyond the arc. It’s important to note that the Grizzlies have lost four straight games to the Clippers inside the Staples Center.
Los Angeles was led by its star duo of Blake Griffin and Chris Paul to escape with its latest victory, combining for 41 points to win the franchise’s first home playoff game in six seasons. “We’ve got to take care of home court, really,” commented Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro. “You shouldn’t have that much pressure at home.” The Clippers received a lift with the return of Caron Butler to the floor, who played with a broken bone in his left hand that he suffered in Game 1, but he ultimately left in the third quarter. Los Angeles is 3-3 ATS as a home favorite of three points or less.
The Clippers managed to win a Game 3 for the first time since 1992, as the bench outscored the Grizzlies’ reserves by a 26-21 margin. It’s the second time in this series that the club has held that advantage. Griffin will need to up his production on the boards if the team wishes to advance, averaging just 6.7 rebounds in his first three career playoff games, which is significantly down from his 10.9 regular-season average.
Bettors will likely back the Grizzlies due to their 6-1-2 ATS mark in Western Conference quarterfinal games, while the Clippers are 1-4 ATS as a home favorite of 4.5 or fewer points.
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