Memphis grinds up the Thunder again
MEMPHIS – The Memphis Grizzlies have the Oklahoma City Thunder on the NBA “ropes”. If the Grizz grinds it’s way past OKC Wednesday night at “The Peake”, the Thunder season will come to an end. That’s due to Memphis 3rd straight triumph over the Thunder in the post-season, a stirring 103-97 win in overtime before another sellout crowd Monday night at the FedEx Forum, giving Memphis an almost insurmountable 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 Western Conference semifinals.
It looked great for the Thunder at the start when Memphis missed it's first seven shots and OKC eventually grabbed a 46-29 second quarter lead. But Memphis would chip away, cutting OKC's lead to just 56-48 at halftime.
The Thunder ripped the nets for 54% shooting in the first half, but cooled considerably in the final half - and Memphis' rugged defense had alot to do with it. In all, Memphis held the Thunder to just 41 total points in the second half and the overtime. And even though Kevin Durant hit a rolling lay-up with :06.4 to play in regulation to tie it at 94...the Grizzlies owned the extra session, holding the Thunder to just 1-8 shooting and keeping Durant scoreless as he missed all five of his shot attempts.
Durant led OKC again with 27 points while Serge Ibaka came out of his shooting slump for 17 points and 14 rebounds, but only 4 pts. and 4 rebounds in the final half. Kevin Martin came off the bench for 18 points, while Reggie Jackson pitched in 15 points along with 8 assists and Nick Collison added 10 points. For Memphis, the Grizzlies bruising inside duo of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol combined for 46 points and 23 rebounds...while impressive point guard Mike Conley led Memphis with 24 points and 5 assists.
Game #5 will be Wednesday night at 8:30pm in OKC and if the Thunder extends the series, it will move back to Tennessee for game #6 Friday night. In our report on kfor.com, you'll hear from Bob Barry Jr. followed by Memphis stars Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, Thunder head coach Scott Brooks and Thunder stars Nick Collison, Kevin Martin and Reggie Jackson. Please keep watching all of our Thunder coverage on kfor.com and NewsChannel 4.