The Thunder is now basically tied for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference after losing 100-92 to the Grizzlies in Memphis on Friday night. The Thunder played much better throughout the game, than they did in that home loss to Dallas earlier in the week, but the Grizzlies are battling Houston for 2nd place in the West. They’re just pretty darn good.
When OKC took a 2-point lead after the opening quarter, former Thunder star Jeff Green lit his old team up for 13 of his team high 22 points in the 2nd period to give Memphis a 55-49 halftime advantage. Memphis had six players score in double figures on the night.
The Thunder kept battling, especially the big men inside. Enes Kanter was again huge with 24 points and 17 rebounds. Steven Adams, who was questionable with a sprained ankle before the game, fought all night, finishing with 9 points and 6 rebounds in 36 courageous minutes. Russell Westbrook had a tough shooting night, making just 5-20, and OKC couldn’t make any shots from distance, going just 4-17 from behind the 3-point line.
The Memphis all-stars down low, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, wore down the Thunder late as the Grizzlies hung on for the win to take the season series with the Thunder, 3 wins to one. Kyle Singler had his best game in a Thunder uniform with 13 points but the Thunder also missed 10 foul shots in the game which led to the loss.
At 42-34, the Thunder is desperately trying to hold off New Orleans for that final playoff berth in the West, but the Pelicans won in Sacramento late Friday night to close the gap. And things don’t get any easier for OKC, hosting James Harden and Houston at high noon Easter Sunday at “the Peake” then entertaining the reigning NBA champion San Antonio Spurs Tuesday night, also on the home court.