With a 16-point lead entering the 4th quarter, it looked like there was nothing but a formality standing between the Oklahoma City Thunder and a skid-ending victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night. However, the Thunder got more than they bargained for in the final period before eventually hanging on for a 113-107 victory.
Oklahoma City led by 15 points at the half in addition to the 16-point lead after 3 quarters, but Memphis made a big-time charge down the stretch. The Grizzlies eventually cut the lead to just 3 with less than 2 and a half minutes to play, but the go-to guy for the Thunder came up big.
Kevin Durant scored 13 of his game-high 37 points in the final frame, and he reminded everyone of the MVP-level of play that he has sustained this season. In addition to the 37 points on 12-24 FG and 10-10 FT, Durant added 6 rebounds and 5 assists for good measure, and he was the best player in the arena. In support of KD, Russell Westbrook had his most efficient game since returning from injury, converting 7 of his 12 field goal attempts in route to 21 points, 6 assists, and 3 steals in 29 minutes.
This is a relatively brutal loss for the Grizzlies, simply because of the fact that they were able to score effectively but couldn’t stop OKC on the other end. The complete opposite of that trend is often true for Memphis, but the road team shot better than 50% from the floor and knocked down an incredible 10-for-16 from beyond the arc. Unfortunately, that efficient, across-the-board effort wasn’t enough, though, and the Thunder were able to hold on for victory.
Kevin Durant is good, the Oklahoma City Thunder are good, and all is right with the world of the NBA.