A tip-in by Serge Ibaka at the end of overtime was a fraction of a second too late, and Memphis held on to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 100-99 in Game 5 of their first round NBA Playoff series on Tuesday night at Chesapeake Arena in Oklahoma City.
With Memphis leading 100-99 with two and half seconds to play, OKC inbounded the ball to Kevin Durant, who missed a fallaway 3-pointer, a common theme for the Thunder in late-game situations.
Ibaka got the rebound and put it back in, but it came just after the buzzer sounded, handing the Thunder their third overtime loss in the series.
OKC dug themselves a big hole in the third quarter, falling behind by as many as 20 points before rallying to get back in the game, going on a 22-4 run and eventually taking their first lead of the game early in the fourth quarter.
Memphis had the ball with a chance to clinch the win in the final 15 seconds, but Russell Westbrook swiped the ball from Mike Conley and got a dunk to tie the game at 90 with under 10 seconds to play.
Memphis had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation with the game tied at 90.
With a little over four seconds left, the Grizzlies worked the ball into the lane, with Zach Randolph making a reverse layup, but it came just after the buzzer sounded, and the game went to overtime.
It was the fourth straight overtime game in the series, setting an NBA Playoffs record for most consecutive OT games in a series.
In overtime, Mike Conley gave the Grizzlies a 100-98 lead with a layup with just under a minute to play.
With 27 seconds to play, Durant was fouled and made one of two free throws to cut the Memphis lead to 100-99.
Mike Miller made 5 of 8 from three-point range, but he missed a three-pointer that could have clinched the game and it gave the Thunder a chance to win the game.
Durant missed the potential go-ahead three, part of another tough night shooting for OKC’s All-Stars.
KD was 10 of 24 from the field, 3 of 8 from three-point range, and just 3 of 6 from the free throw line.
Of the Thunder’s four missed free throws in the game, three were missed by Durant.
Russell Westbrook’s shooting night was even worse, just 10 of 31 from the field and one of seven from three-point range.
Westbrook did finish with a triple-double, with 30 points, 13 assists, and 12 rebounds.
Durant had 26 points and 8 rebounds.
Caron Butler and Serge Ibaka both added 15 points each for OKC, which shot just 39 percent from the field.
The Thunder also had eight more turnovers than Memphis.
The Grizzlies were led by Miller’s 21 points, while Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol each had double-doubles.
Randolph scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while Gasol had 11 points and 15 rebounds.
Conley added 17 points.
The Thunder are now just 7-10 vs. Memphis in the NBA Playoffs, and now must return to Memphis for Game 6 on Thursday night at 7:00.
With the Grizzlies leading the series three games to two, OKC must win Game 6 to force the decisive Game 7 in Oklahoma City on Saturday.