NBA Russell Westbrook scores season-high 36 in Clippers versus Grizzlies
Memphis, Tennessee –
Russell Westbrook has a season-high 36 points, Robert Covington also has his best season with 27 points and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Memphis Grizzlies 141-132 on Wednesday night to open two games.
The teams – who both lost on Wednesday – will meet again on Friday night in Memphis.
Westbrook made 5 3-pointers without a miss and had 10 assists. Covington has 9/10 appearances, making all 7 of his 3-point attempts.
Bones Hyland added 20 points for Los Angles, including 12 in the fourth inning as the Clippers equalized in the final seven minutes.
“Just be calm,” Westbrook said of the long-term difference. “As a defender of opinion, I was taught that the last five or six minutes are very important. Catch stops, get good shots. We’ve done a great job doing it for a long time.”
Ja Morant leads the Grizzlies with 36 points and 9 assists. Dillon Brooks added 30 points as all five of Memphis’ appearances ended in doubles. The Grizzlies have won 7 games in a row and 12 in a row at home.
While the Clippers were absent Paul George as he recovered from a right knee injury, Kawhi Leonard showed up late for personal reasons.
The Grizzlies let several key players sit on the second night of the back-to-back game. Morant was back after sidelined against Orlando on Tuesday night, but substitutes Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane, Tyus Jones and John Konchar were announced out due to various illnesses.
The match was intense and the teams clashed near mid-time in the third inning with Brooks and Covington shouting at each other. During the game, the coaches yelled at the officials, the players badmouthed each other and the physical play put everyone in a difficult position.
For the Clippers, 3 points is an advantage. Los Angeles made 22 of the 37 3-pointers as Covington and Westbook made all their efforts.
“I think this is the first time in my career I’ve made the perfect 3-pointer,” Covington said in his 10th season.
The rate of firing from outside the arc – just under 60% – is much higher than the Los Angeles average of 38%.
“Obviously they took a lot of shots,” said Memphis striker Santi Aldama, who finished with 17 points from six out of seven from the field, adding: “I think most of us gave them to them. very easy shots. They just have so many free looks.
The win leaves the Clippers in fifth place at the Western Conference, one game ahead of the idle Golden State. But the way the middle of the conference was messy, every game mattered.
“It will be stressful,” Covington said of the playoffs. “West of 4 to 12 or 13 is like a three-game difference, something like that? So anything can happen. That’s why these last five or six games are so important for us.”
Clippers: In addition to George and Leonard, Marcus Morris Sr. sat out the second game in accordance with health and safety regulations. … Terance Mann started in Leonard’s place. … G Norman Powell is back after missing 11 games with a dislocated left shoulder. He scored 13 points.
Grizzlies:C Steven Adams missed game 30 because of a PCL sprain in his right knee. … Former Clipper Luke Kennard, acquired in a deal with a term deal, started his 12th game of the season, but the first in a Memphis uniform. He finished with 12 points. …Memphis’ most recent home defeat was February 5 against Toronto.