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Oklahoma City Blasts Short-Handed Grizzlies

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MEMPHIS, Tennessee -

Wednesday night was the first time Oklahoma City had faced Memphis since their second round series in the playoffs a year ago. With a healthy Russell Westbrook, and Memphis suffering from several injuries, the game couldn't have looked more different from the series the Thunder lost, 4-1, this past summer.

The Thunder eviscerated a Grizzlies team that prides itself on defense, 116-100, Wednesday night, its 12th win in the last 13 games.

Memphis came in allowing 96 points per game, second in the Western Conference and sixth in the NBA, but they were no match for the Thunder's high-flying attack without three of their best players. Marc Gasol, Tony Allen and Quincy Pondexter, along with Ed Davis, all missed the game with injuries. With those players in the lineup, Memphis held OKC to 89.6 points per game in their five-game series last postseason.

Wednesday night, Oklahoma City had 89 points at the end of the third quarter.

Oklahoma was clinging to a 35-34 lead with seven minutes remaining in the first half, but used a 22-8 run to close out the first half and go to the locker room leading, 57-42. The run broke the will of the Grizzlies and opened the floodgates for the OKC offense.

Beginning with a Kevin Durant jumper with 3:28 remaining in the second quarter, Oklahoma City made 13 of its next 16 shots to open up a 72-52 lead. Russell Westbrook was the main catalyst, scoring 14 points during the hot stretch, including nine points in the first three minutes of the second half.

Westbrook turned in another sensational performance, scoring 27 points and chipping in nine assists and six rebounds.

Durant had a pedestrian 18 points, but didn't have to be a superstar, thanks to the complete showing on offense. The Thunder shot 56.3 percent from the field and hit 9-of-18 from 3-point range. Serge Ibaka added 12 points for OKC.

The bench continued to play well, led by Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb. Lamb scored a career-high 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field while Jackson chipped in 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting. The two helped the OKC bench outscore the Memphis second unit, 52-36.

The only negative for the Thunder came early in the fourth quarter, when rookie center Steven Adams rolled his ankle grabbing a rebound. It was classified a right ankle sprain and Adams did not return.

Adams only had three points and five rebounds, but played terrific defense on Memphis' Zach Randolph. Randolph torched the Thunder in the first quarter, scoring 11 points and grabbing six rebounds. The big power forward finished with 17 points and eight rebounds, a by-product of the defense of Adams, who was matched up with Randolph whenever the two were on the court.

Mike Conley led five Memphis players in double digits with 20 points. Jon Leuer had 17 points off the bench, while Kosta Koufos and Jerryd Bayless had 12 and 11, respectively. Memphis shot just 42 percent from the field, but did force 21 Oklahoma City turnovers.

The Thunder is back at home on Friday night, when Kobe Bryant and the Lakers come to town. Tip time is set for 7 p.m.

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