Clippers hold off Grizzlies, 101-95

Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Kawhi Leonard and Terance Mann took control in Memphis and led the Clippers to another victory.

The Los Angeles Clippers grinded to a win over the Memphis Grizzlies Friday, though it wasn’t pretty. 

LA had to survive 21 turnovers with help from star guard Kawhi Leonard and Terance Mann.

“We were able to get stops at the end and make shots,” Leonard said of the Clippers play to pull out the victory.

Turning point: The Clippers trailed Memphis at the half, despite shooting 51.4% from the field compared to the Grizzlies shooting 43.6%. The game would stay close throughout the third period. 

Both teams exchanged 11 lead changes heading into the fourth quarter. The final lead change came from the hands of James Harden with just 46.2 seconds left. Harden sank a three-pointer for the Clippers to seal the win. It was also Harden’s only basket of the night.

What it means: Los Angeles moves to 37-18  on the season, 17-12 on the road. 

No changes for the team in standings though. The Clippers still stand as the third seed in the Western Conference standings, but are now one game back in the loss column from the first seed.

Hits: Mann shone in LA’s win Friday, capturing a season-high in three separate columns. He struggled in scoring earlier this season, but scored 23 points and collected 12 rebounds with four made threes against the Grizzlies.

Misses: Norman Powell missed his first game of the season for the Clippers with a sprained right ankle. According to ESPN, Clippers coach Tyronn Lue also said he’s not sure if Norman Powell will be able to play on Sunday vs Kings.

Stat of the game: LA has been standing out in one category, and not in a great way. The Clippers had 14 turnovers in their last loss to Oklahoma City. Then they added 21 against Friday in Memphis while collecting only 20 assists.

“We’ve got to be able to handle that pressure,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said post-win. “To have more turnovers than you have assists, it’s hard to win a game like that.”

Up next: The Clippers return to Arena Sunday to host the Sacramento Kings and kick off a three-game home stand. The team will move on to face the Lakers and Washington Wizards Feb. 28 and March 1, respectively.