Thunder Leads Memphis 61-58 At Halftime

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(OKC)—

The Oklahoma City Thunder is 24 game minutes away from advancing to the 2nd round of the NBA Playoffs. The Thunder leads the Memphis Grizzlies 61-58 at halftime of their 7th and deciding game in their post-season series at “The Peake” downtown.

It was a poor start for OKC however, giving up the most points Memphis has scored in *any* quarter this season, when the Grizzlies scored 36 in the opening quarter. The Grizzlies started the game without their leading scorer, all-star forward Zach Randolph, who was suspended by the NBA yesterday for the punch he threw at Thunder rookie Steven Adams in game #6 Thursday night in Tennessee.

Kevin Durant had a great opening half for the Thunder, leading the team with 21 points on 7-12 shooting. Russell Westbrook added 13 points on 4-8 from the field, while Reggie Jackson tossed in 9 points coming off the bench. As a team, OKC is shooting 56% but the Thunder turned it over 10 times.

Memphis had an 11-point lead at one time in the first half and they’re led by center Marc Gasol’s 15 points on 6-11 shooting. Mike Conley has 11 and seems to be moving around pretty well despite a hamstring injury late in game #6. Courtney Lee has 10 and former Oklahoma State star Tony Allen added 9. But Memphis is in some foul trouble at the break with 3 each on Gasol and Allen while Conley has a pair of personals.

The winner of tonight’s game advances to the 2nd round to play the winner of game #7 of the other Western Conference series between the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers. (*BREAKING: several reports indicate Thunder superstar Kevin Durant has indeed won the NBA Most-Valuable-Player award and will be presented that award sometime next week. This is according to ESPN through various sources.)