Thunder Comeback Not Enough to Stop Memphis
Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:15 pm
By: News On 6
Originally Published: Mar 7, 2011 9:42 PM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
MEMPHIS – Oklahoma City’s comeback was impressive – it just wasn’t quite enough.
The Thunder dropped a 107-101 contest against the Grizzlies on Monday despite coming back from 17 down to pull to within a single point several times.
Trailing 73-56 with five minutes left in the third, Kevin Durant drained a 3 to start a 23-8 run.
A tip and made foul shot from Russell Westbrook pulled OKC to within 93-92, but that was as close as Oklahoma City would come.
Every time the Thunder hit a huge shot, Memphis would respond immediately with a score of its own.
In the end, the Grizzlies snapped Oklahoma City’s three-game winning streak by taking the season series against the Thunder, two games to one.
The biggest stat of the game was one of the same things that doomed OKC in its loss to Memphis earlier in the season: offensive rebounds.
The Grizzlies had 15 offensive rebounds in the game, and they converted on most of them as each of the Memphis starters scored in double digits.
Former Oklahoma State guard Tony Allen had 20 points to lead the Grizzlies.
Westbrook led all scorers in the game with 27 points and added seven assists.
Durant had 23 points and six rebounds, while James Harden had 16 off the bench.
Though OKC did an effective job of shutting down forward Zach Randolph (17 points and six rebounds), it came at the expense of opening up the lane for other players.
Memphis managed 68 of its points in the paint, many coming off drives from Allen and point guard Mike Conley as well as offensive rebounds.
Oklahoma City is now sitting three games ahead of Denver for the fourth spot – and first-round home court advantage – in the playoffs.
The Thunder will travel to Philadelphia for a 6 p.m. tipoff Wednesday night against the Sixers.