Video: Clippers’ Blake Griffin, Grizzlies’ Zach Randolph get into wrestling match
The Grizzlies looked ready to eliminate the Clippers by any means necessary on Friday night.
That included an intense wrestling match between Zach Randolph and Blake Griffin in the third quarter of the Grizzlies’ 118-105 Game 6 victory over the Clippers.
With a little more than seven minutes remaining in the third and the Grizzlies leading 74-59, the two All-Star forwards locked arms as they fought for rebounding position. The pushing and shoving and leveraging ended up carrying both players to the floor inside the paint, and Randolph eventually fell on top of Griffin.
Griffin’s left arm appeared to pin Randolph’s head to the floor and Randolph responded by using his own left hand to jab at Griffin’s neck and push his head backwards. A group of six players and two referees was needed to separate the two combatants.
The incident did not result in any flagrant fouls or ejections. Rather, Randolph and Griffin were each assessed fouls while Randolph also received a technical foul. The Grizzlies forward received a second technical foul and was ejected later in the fourth quarter, but Memphis already had its win in hand.
Griffin finished with nine points (on three-for-five shooting) and three rebounds in 14 minutes off coach Vinny Del Negro’s bench. He did not take his usual place in the starting lineup because of a high ankle sprain suffered earlier this week. The Clippers were led by 28 points (on 11-for-16 shooting), eight assists and four rebounds from Chris Paul and 30 points (on 11-for-14 shooting) and 10 rebounds off the bench from Matt Barnes.
Randolph tallied 23 points (on 8-for-12 shooting), five rebounds and four assists in 34 minutes. Mike Conley added 23 points (on 4-for-7 shooting), seven assists and four rebounds for Memphis.
The Grizzlies, the Western Conference’s No. 5 seed, now advance to face the Thunder, the No. 1 seed, in a Western Conference semifinals series. Game 1 is set for Oklahoma City on Sunday.