Martin: 'We shot ourselves in the foot'

If the Los Angeles Clippers had won either of their two final games this season against the Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks, they would be staying at home for a solid week and hosting the Memphis Grizzlies to start the two teams' first-round series.

But they didn't, and so now the Clippers have to travel to Memphis on Saturday afternoon and open up the series there on Sunday night.

They say they realize their mistake.

"We shot ourselves in the foot," said reserve forward Kenyon Martin, who leads the Clippers with 87 career playoff starts. "We know that."

Martin, asked about losing home court, recounted the last two road losses and all of the near-wins the Clippers had during the regular season, like losing to the Minnesota Timberwolves three times and falling on the road at New Jersey and Cleveland.

"Win any one of those games and we'd get home court," Martin said on Friday, speaking after the Clippers' first of two practices in preparation for the Grizzlies. "Games early in the season come back to bite you late in the season."

By contrast, Clippers guard Chris Paul, who sat out of Friday's practice, dismissed the thought of not having home court. He said it was no longer relevant as the five-seed Clippers try to pull off a minor upset against the Grizzlies.

"We can't worry about that no more," Paul said. "Who cares? You're worrying about what's in the past.

"All we're gonna do now is worry about what's going in Memphis for the first two games."

The Clippers open up the playoffs against Memphis on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. PT and then play Game 2 in Memphis on Wednesday before returning home Saturday night for Game 3.