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Thunder 92, Grizzlies 89

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Overtime. Again.

But this time, after losing two straight overtime games, the Oklahoma City Thunder survived for a 92-89 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies Saturday night at FedExForum to even their first-round Western Conference playoff series at 2-2.

Reserve guard Reggie Jackson scored a career-high 32 points, including the last five in regulation as the Thunder rallied from an 80-75 over the last 1:20 deficit to send the game into overtime tied at 80. The Thunder had led by 14 with 26 seconds left in the third quarter.

“Reggie played an outstanding game,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “He gave us that lift offensively.”

In overtime, Jackson scored eight of the Thunder’s 12 points and sank four free throws over the last 12.2 seconds. The Thunder never led by more than three in overtime and the Grizzlies never led by more than one, the last time at 1:34 when point guard Mike Conley hit a step-back jumper. Conley’s 3-point attempt bounced high off the iron as the overtime ended.

Memphis missed opportunities at the free-throw line, shooting 56.5 percent (13-for-23).

Thunder stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook again struggled against the Grizzlies’ physical defense and scored less combined (30 points) than Jackson did by himself. Westbrook finished with 15 points, going 6-for-24 from the field and Durant scored 15 while making 5-of-21 from the floor.

Center Marc Gasol led Memphis with 23 points and 11 rebounds and four assists. Tony Allen had 14 points and 13 rebounds off the bench. Conley finished with 14 points, 10 assists and four steals.

After a layup from power forward Zach Randolph (11 points and seven rebounds) cut the Thunder lead to 56-50 with 3.41 left in the third quarter, Oklahoma City went on an 8-0 run to lead 64-50, the largest margin of the game.

Like they have in every other game this series, the Thunder finished with more rebounds than the Grizzlies — 58 to 49.

The Thunder carried a 42-35 lead into halftime as the bench scored 22 points. That was more than double what the reserves had in Game 3 when they scored nine the whole game. Jackson led the effort with 11 points through the first two quarters.

The Thunder bench outscored Memphis 43-30 for the night.

NOTES: Thunder F Kevin Durant and PG Russell Westbrook scored 15 points between them in the fourth quarter of Game 3 as Oklahoma City made a 17-0 run and forced overtime. However, in the overtime, they shot a combined 2-of-11 and scored eight points as Memphis won 98-95. … The Grizzlies’ original owner, Michael Heisley, who moved the team from Vancouver, B.C., to Memphis in 2001, died Saturday at the age of 77. He suffered a massive stroke a little over a year ago. Heisley sold the Grizzlies to Robert Pera and a group of local investors in 2012. … In the two overtime losses, the Thunder bench was outscored 33-14 and 34-9. “They’ve been good all year,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said before Game 4. “I’m not losing confidence in the bench.”

Alan is an experienced writer of online betting and casino guides. He is one of the main editors of Basketballinsiders.

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