Instead, it was the Grizzlies who put the Thunder behind the
eight ball by earning a 100-99 overtime win over Tuesday in Game 5
of the best-of-seven series.
The Grizzlies lead the series 3-2.
"That's what we do," Memphis forward Zach Randolph said. "Nothing
comes easy for us. We get it out the mud. We grind it. We're
underdogs and we just keep playing and playing."
This was the fourth straight game the teams have gone into an extra
quarter, and the Thunder had to fight back from a 20-point deficit
in the third quarter to get this one into overtime.
"Four straight overtimes," Thunder forward Kevin Durant said. "It's
good basketball. We lost three of them. That's the worst part."
With 2:33 left in overtime, Memphis forward Zach Randolph was fouled
while attempting a layup. His free throws put the Grizzlies up
Off assists from guard Russell Westbrook, center Kendrick Perkins
and forward Serge Ibaka came up with back-to-back baskets to tie
game at 98 with 1:27 left.
Guard Mike Conley curled into the lane for an easy layup to put the
Grizzlies ahead. Forward Tony Allen fouled Durant with 27.5 seconds
on the clock. After making the first free throw, referee Joey
Crawford interrupted Durant's second attempt for an unknown reason
and ripped the ball from his hands before heading over to the
scorer's table. When Durant got the ball back, he missed the shot
and the Thunder trailed by one.
"I was just trying to stay focused and knock the free throw down,"
Durant said. "I don't know what happened. But I got to make that
The Grizzlies' Mike Miller's 3-point attempt was long and the ball
went out of bounds to Oklahoma City.
Durant settled for a long 3-point attempt in the final seconds that
was off the mark. Ibaka's put back came after the buzzer, giving the
Grizzlies the victory.
"He has the opportunity to catch and drive," Thunder coach Scott
Brooks said of the final Durant shot. "I give KD that decision to
make a play. Tough shot. No question, it was a tough shot. A lot of
times the game comes down to the last shot."
Miller came off the bench to lead the Grizzlies with 21 points. That
includes knocking down 5-of-8 from behind the arc. Randolph posted
20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Conley added 17 points.
Westbrook ended the night with 30 points on 10-of-31 shooting. He
picked up his first triple double of the postseason with 10 rebounds
and 13 assists.
Durant added 26 points on 10-of-24 shooting. Ibaka finished with 15
points and 12 rebounds.
Memphis held the Thunder to 39.1 percent shooting from the field and
forced them into 17 turnovers. Despite that, Oklahoma City found a
way to rally from 20 down.
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Westbrook hit a driving layup and was fouled with 4:31 left.
Oklahoma City trailed by one until Memphis guard Mike Conley made
back-to-back shots in the paint to push the Grizzlies advantage to
But once again, the Thunder came up with a four-point play when
Caron Butler was fouled while draining a 3-pointer. It was the third
such play of the series.
Memphis center Marc Gasol and Westbrook exchanged foul shots and
Memphis led 89-88.
The Thunder had three straight trips that came up empty on the
offensive end. That included Durant turning the ball over and
missing a 3-pointer with 35 seconds on the clock. The miss was
gathered in by Allen and he was fouled. He made 1-of-2, but the
Grizzlies got the rebound. Instead of fouling, the Thunder played
defense and Westbrook came up with a steal on Conley and game-tying
layup to send game into overtime.
"We are a team that is able to bounce back from adversity," Conley
said. "We have a lot of tough players. For us to be able to come
back, compete and stay focused in overtime just says a lot about the
resiliency of this team."
Game 6 is Thursday in Memphis. Durant had a simple message on what
the Thunder must do to bring the game back to Oklahoma City for a
"We have to impose our will," Durant said. "We have to be locked in
NOTES: With Oklahoma City F Kevin Durant going through one of the
worst shooting stretches of his career, coach Scott Brooks was asked
if Durant was playing too many minutes. "I don't think so," Brooks
said. "I think his minutes are good. Right around 38 to 39 minutes.
I think he is probably at his low the last four or five years." ...
During their shoot around, the Memphis Grizzlies turned their
shooting shirt inside out in support of the L.A. Clippers. ""I'm
glad the NBA rose up together as a family. I couldn't agree more
with the outcome," Memphis C Marc Gasol said. "Sports bring people
together and not the opposite. It's worldwide. It doesn't matter
where you're from or your background." ... Brooks is a huge admirer
of the skill set of Gasol. "The thing about Gasol, he is such a
great all-around player," Brooks said. "Not only was he the
defensive player of the year, he has a great feel for the game. He
has them mind of a point guard. As you see, he can score from
different spots on the floor. That's pretty special in itself."
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