It’s all over for the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Memphis Grizzlies officially ended the local NBA lads’ pro basketball season with an 88-84 win Wednesday night at “The Peake” downtown, giving the Grizzlies the best-of-7 game Western Conference semifinal series 4-wins to one. With the victory, Memphis advances to the Western Conference finals for the first time in franchise history where they will face the winner of the current San Antonio-Golden State series.
For the Thunder, they lost their mojo after a second consecutive 7-0 start. After hanging tough for a 5-point lead after the opening quarter, Memphis opened up a can on the Thunder by scorching OKC 32-15 in the decisive second period, which caused the Thunder to play catch-up the rest of the night. The Thunder managed to cut Memphis 14-pt. lead down to 64-62 after three quarters, but Memphis went on a 12-2 run to start the fourth and increase their advantage once again. OKC had one more “run” in their system…and despite a horrific 5-21 shooting night, Thunder superstar Kevin Durant had one final shot at tying the game with under 5-seconds remaining. But after losing former Oklahoma State star Tony Allen of Memphis with a teriffic ball fake, KD missed the 15 foot jumper from the left of the line…and within seconds, Memphis was celebrating while the Thunder left the court…until next year.
Durant finished with a team high 21 points and 6 assists, but he turned it over 7 times too. And combined with his shooting struggles at the end of the game #3 OT loss in Memphis, Durant ended up hitting just 7-34 shots in the final pair of games in the series. Serge Ibaka scored 17 points and grabbed 8 rebounds, while Reggie Jackson chipped in with 16 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and zero turnovers in another splendid performance.
Memphis was led by all-star Zach Randolph who had a strong game with 28 points and 14 rebounds. Point guard Mike Conley had 13 points and 11 assists as the Grizzlies avoided a return trip home to finish off the Thunder.
Dylan Buckingham has the postgame story on kfor.com including comments from several players on each team. Counting the regular season and the playoffs, the Thunder ends it’s season with 65 victories and 28 losses. Thanks for watching our coverage all season long on kfor.com and Oklahoma’s NewsChannel 4.