The goal for the Memphis Grizzlies going into their final game of the regular season Wednesday night against the Utah Jazz was the same as it was for their first – to secure the win.
The hope after the game was to watch the Los Angeles Clippers lose to the Sacramento Kings. A loss would allow Memphis to snatch home-court advantage in Round 1 of the NBA Western Conference Playoffs.
So much for hope.
Ending the regular season with a bang, setting a franchise record with 56 wins and holding the fifth seed, the Grizzlies defeated the Jazz 86-70 in front of 16,777 fans at the FedExForum.
The Grizz victory killed the Jazz's playoff hopes and secured the eighth spot in Playoffs for the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Clippers pulled out a 112-108 win over the Kings, summoning the Grizzlies to the Staples Center for Game One on Saturday in L.A.
Memphis showed no mercy on the Jazz.
Zach Randolph finished with 25 points and 19 rebounds. Mike Conley added 14 points and Darrell Arthur pitched in 11.
Al Jefferson led the Jazz with 22 points and 16 rebounds. The Jazz were out-rebounded 57-47 and were held to 32 percent shooting.
For Memphis, the next goal is simple: Beat the Clippers to advance to the second round. Nevermind that just last Saturday the Clippers waltzed into FedExForum and left with another win, 91-87, taking the season series three games to one.
And yes, the Clippers eliminated the Grizzlies last year, coming away with a seven-game series win in the first round of the playoffs.
Despite all of that, the grit-and-grind Grizz are ready to flip the script.