The Los Angeles Clippers beat the Memphis Grizzlies in game 7 Sunday with an 82-72 victory to advance to the Western Conference semifinals for only the second time since 1984, The Associated Press reports.
The Clippers will now go onto face the top seeded San Antonio Spurs. Game 1 of that series will take place Tuesday in San Antonio, KENS5 TV reports.
Regarding Sunday's win, Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said he wants his team to enjoy this, but that tomorrow they'll regroup and discuss the challenge that awaits in San Antonio, AP reports. This is the Clippers 3rd postseason win in their 41 year history, including when they were the Buffalo Braves.
Chris Paul had 19 points and 9 rebounds while Kenyon Martin, Mo WIlliams, and Nick Young were very impressive from the bench scoring a combined 33 points and 12 rebounds, UPI reports.
"I felt like we should have won earlier," Chris Paul said. "But it doesn't matter. As long as you win. I think it is a step in the right direction for our franchise."
Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol had 19 points each for the Grizzlies who upset the San Antonio Spurs in the 1st round of the Western Conference playoffs last year.
"Unfortunately no one on the bench stepped up and helped us," Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said regarding Sunday's loss.
The Western Conference semifinals will now be the Los Angeles Clippers against the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Lakers against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Lakers beat the Denver Nuggets Saturday night in another Game 7 to advance to the second round, NBA.com reports.
Meanwhile, in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics beat the Philadelphia 76ers 92-91 in Game 1 of the semifinals Saturday night, and the Miami Heat beat the Indiana Pacers 96-87 Sunday.
Unlike in the Western Conference, no 1st round playoff series in the Eastern Conference went to 7 games.