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Thunder 100, Grizzlies 86

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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OKLAHOMA CITY — Forward Kevin Durant posted 33 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to lead Oklahoma City to a 100-86 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

The Thunder took a 1-0 lead in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.

With 8:44 left, Oklahoma City’s 25-point lead had been erased. Memphis was down by just two and had momentum squarely on its side after guard Mike Miller drained a 3-pointer.

But, after using up a vast amount of energy to get back into the contest, the Grizzlies didn’t have enough left in the tank to climb over the hill and take the lead. The younger Thunder took advantage and outscored the Grizzlies 26-13 to close out the game.

Forward Zach Randolph paced the Grizzlies with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Center Marc Gasol added 16 points on 7-for-19 shooting. Guard Mike Conley scored 16 points to go with 11 assists.

Guard Russell Westbrook scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Oklahoma City. Forward Serge Ibaka added 17 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots.

The opening quarter was a Westbrook highlight film. From breakaway layups to half-court passes, he came out attacking on every offensive possession.

Westbrook ended the period with 12 points, four rebounds and two assists as Oklahoma City held a 29-16 advantage.

Oklahoma City quickly pushed its lead to 21 points as it ran off every shot the Grizzlies missed. Whether it was Westbrook, backup point guard Reggie Jackson or Durant leading the break, Memphis couldn’t keep up. The Thunder outscored the Grizzlies 21-6 in fast-break points in the first half as they held a 56-34 lead.

Memphis didn’t panic. It came out in the third and slowed the game down. With the Thunder shots no longer falling, the Grizzlies closed to within nine midway through the period.

Conley led the charge, and guard Tony Allen harassed Durant all over the court and didn’t allow him any clean looks at the basket. Durant was held to three points on five shot attempts in the period.

Memphis outscored Oklahoma City 31-13 and closed the gap to 69-65 heading into the fourth quarter.

NOTES: The NBA suspended Memphis G Nick Calathes 20 games for violating the NBA’s drug policy. Memphis coach Dave Joerger wouldn’t dwell on the subject. “We’ve had a lot of adversity all season long and now we’ve got to step up our games,” Joerger said. “It’s an NBA deal and that’s where we have to leave it.” … Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks had an easy solution for handling the pressure of the postseason. “My philosophy of pressure is I think the pressure you have on yourself is just to play as hard as you can,” Brooks said. “And play for your team.”

Alan is an expert gambling writer who works as one of the chief editors for Basketball Insiders. He has been covering online gambling and sports betting for over 8 years, having written for the likes of Sportlens,, The Sports Daily, 90min, and His particular specialisms include US online casinos and gambling regulations, and soccer and basketball betting. Based in London, Alan holds an MA in English Literature and is a passionate supporter of Chelsea FC.

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