"It's Chris Paul. He made his name off doing that," Gay said. "He's a tough guard. We can try and make it tougher on him, but still he's going to make plays and make his teammates better. That's what he's been doing."
The Clippers led 95-89 when Griffin fouled out, and the Grizzlies trimmed it to two points on jumpers by Conley and Gay. Paul went to work, shaking loose from defenders and hitting back-to-back jumpers sandwiching a turnover by Conley.
"Defensively in the overtime, we got three stops in a row, and Chris came down and hit big shot after big shot," Griffin said. "We keep telling ourselves, and we've said this all year, it starts on defense for us."
Fans filled Staples Center well before tipoff, donning their giveaway red T-shirts and standing to cheer on the majority of Los Angeles' possessions. They raised Staples Center's intensity to a level it hadn't seen since ... well, Sunday, when the Los Angeles Kings' fans roared throughout their second-round NHL clincher over St. Louis.
The tone was set in the first quarter: In a scintillating 2½-minute stretch, the teams combined for six 3-pointers, an alley-oop from Paul to DeAndre Jordan and a technical foul for Gay. Butler, who broke his hand in the opener and sat out Game 2 before surprisingly returning for Game 3, scored 11 points and checked out to a standing ovation in the first quarter.
Memphis kept constant pressure on Griffin, forcing the two-time All-Star to be resourceful while keeping his temper in check. Randolph got a technical foul in the second quarter when he fouled Griffin roughly on the shoulder and then chest-bumped him, but Griffin only chuckled while Randolph, the former Clippers big man, was pulled away from him.
The Grizzlies got tough, but the NBA's leaders in steals didn't get a single steal in the first half.
Notes: Paul picked up his second technical foul of the series, a double T with Dante Cunningham. The Clippers have seven technical fouls in the series to the Grizzlies' six. ... The NBA finalized the start time for Game 5 in Memphis. It will begin at 9:30 p.m. EDT. ... After going 13 for 30 on free throws in Game 3, the Clippers made 10 straight to open Game 4, but finished 28 of 40.
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