Originally Published: Jan 22, 2010 9:20 PM CDT
Vitals | Recap | Box Score
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
MEMPHIS, Tennessee – Rudy Gay pulled up and hit a long jumper with less than two seconds remaining and Kevin Durant missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Memphis Grizzlies an 86-84 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder Friday.
With the game tied at 84 moments earlier, Durant pulled down a defensive rebound that seemed to give the Thunder (24-19) a chance at a game-winning possession. But Memphis’ Marc Gasol pulled the ball out of Durant’s hands and the Grizzlies (23-19) called a timeout to set up Gay’s clutch jumper.
The Thunder responded with a timeout of its own to set up a final inbound play. Durant ended up with the ball in his hands, but his potential game-winner rimmed out and sealed Oklahoma City’s fate.
Durant finished with a game-high 30 points, his 17th consecutive game with more than 25 points. That is now the longest such streak by any player under the age of 21, breaking Lebron James’ previous mark.
Gay and teammate Zach Randolph each scored 25 points to lead the Grizzlies, and four of their five starters scored in double figures.
The Memphis offense started the game strong, and the Grizzlies led by as many as 14 points in the second quarter. James Harden came off the bench to spark the Thunder and helped OKC go on a late run – including six unanswered points in one minute – to take a 49-48 lead into halftime.
Harden and fellow bench player Eric Maynor played more minutes in the first half than starting guards Russell Westbrook and Thabo Sefolosha.
The score remained close in the third quarter, but the Thunder’s offense went cold late in the period and stayed that way through the fourth quarter. Memphis went on a 7-2 run to finish the third with a three-point lead, and OKC shot just 6-of-21 in the fourth. The two teams combined to score just 29 points in the final period.
Harden and Maynor both had strong performances throughout the night. Harden finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, five rebounds and two steals. Maynor scored eight points, dished out six assists and pulled down four rebounds.
Memphis is now riding a 10-game home winning streak, while the Thunder’s three-game winning streak comes to an end. Oklahoma City will finish its four-game road trip at 7:30 p.m. Saturday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
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