Every NBA win is important, especially amid a dogfight for playoff position in the Western Conference. So Memphis' 102-96 victory at the FedExForum on Friday night was satisfying.
But, add in the detail that the win was at the expense of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers and a satisfying win gets an upgrade to sweet.
The Grizzlies-Clippers rivalry is punctuated by prickliness. Friday night's confrontation came with L.A. ranked among the Western Conference's top four teams and Memphis in a scruff with Phoenix, Golden State and Dallas to finish among the top eight teams that will battle for conference supremacy in the playoffs.
With Phoenix, Golden State and Dallas all winners on Friday night, the Grizz needed to rise up and stop the Clippers just to keep pace. They did, getting key performances from several players, including a monster second quarter from reserve James Johnson, whose high-energy moves earned him plenty of airtime on sports highlights shows.
TSD photojournalist Warren Roseborough was juiced for the Grizz-Clippers and primely placed to get this set of shots.
NOTE: The Grizz take on the vastly-improved Bobcats in part two of a back-back in Charlotte on Saturday (Feb. 22nd) before returning to the FedExForum to take on the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.