Thunder Even Series with Triple OT Victory
Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:23 pm
By: News On 6
Originally Published: May 10, 2011 12:54 AM CDTGrant Belcher
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
MEMPHIS – It’s hard to believe the series could still have three games remaining.
The Thunder bounced back on Monday night with a dramatic 133-123 triple-overtime victory, evening the series at two games each.
OKC has now regained home-court advantage in the series, with two potential home games left compared to just one more for Memphis.
Game 5 will take place at the Oklahoma City Arena on Wednesday night, giving both teams barely more than 40 hours to travel back and prepare to play again.
The Thunder had chances to close out the game multiple times, but continually let the Grizzlies rally back to tie the game.
OKC had leads in the fourth quarter and all three overtime periods.
Memphis point guard Mike Conley drained a 3-pointer at the end of regulation to force the first overtime period at 96-all. He fouled out in overtime and backup point guard Greivis Vasquez took over and would prove to be crucial.
Oklahoma City led 105-98 with fewer than two minutes remaining, but the Grizzlies once again came back.
After a couple of 3-pointers from OJ Mayo (who also fouled out), Memphis was down three with the ball at the end of the first OT.
Vasquez looked to draw a foul, but instead threw up an awkward shot-put that found nothing but the bottom of the net.
OKC and Memphis both held leads in the second OT, but this time it was Russell Westbrook making the final shot of the period, a jumper to tie the game at 119.
But the Thunder began to assert themselves in the final overtime period. Kevin Durant scored six points in the third overtime to help OKC close it out.
Several players racked up some monster stats with the extended game. Durant had 35 points and 13 rebounds. He played 57 minutes in the game.
Russell Westbrook led all scorers with 40 points in 51 minutes. James Harden had 19 off the bench.
Zach Randolph had 34 points and 16 boards, but was largely ineffective in overtime thanks to the defense of Nick Collison, who played 35 minutes.
Neither team will have much time to rest up, for Game 5 is Wednesday in Oklahoma City.
Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m.