Behind from 25 points and six rebounds from Zach Randolph and 19 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds from Mike Conley, the Memphis Grizzlies survived a late Oklahoma City Thunder rally to win in overtime 111-105, evening their first round series at one game apiece.
Several other Grizzlies contributed to the victory, but none more than Randolph, who scored eight of the Grizzlies’ 12 overtime points.
The Thunder were led by their superstars, Kevin Durant, who finished with 36 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and two blocks, and Russell Westbrook, who scored 29 points, dished out eight assists and pulled down seven rebounds.
Neither player, however, was particularly efficient. Durant shot 12-of-28 from the floor and Westbrook was 11-of-28, hitting just five of his final 18 shots.
The Grizzlies got off to a much better start in game 2 than in game 1, dominating the opening quarter to take a 24-16 lead into the second. The Thunder slowly trimmed the lead and trail by three, the same margin the Grizzlies led by after three quarters.
The Grizzlies pushed the lead to nine with 8:18 to play in the game on Beno Udrih jumper and held a six-point lead with 3:34 to play when Durant knocked down a three-pointer and Westbrook followed it up with a thunderous dunk. After a Randolph three-point play pushed the lead back to four, Durant hit a 10-footer. Marc Gasol countered with a jumper, but Westbrook answered with a three of his own. Thabo Sefolosha then got a steal and found Durant for a jam that gave the Thunder the lead. The Grizzlies answered right back with a Mike Miller three and after a few wasted possessions by the Thunder, the lead grew to 98-93.
That’s when Durant nailed a three-pointer while falling out of bounds and drew a foul. He completed the four-point play and cut the lead to one with just 13.8 seconds left in regulation. After Conley made just one of two free throws, Westbrook missed a good look from beyond the arc. Kendrick Perkins grabbed the rebound and put it back at the buzzer to send the game to overtime. It was Perkins’ first field goal of the night.
The Grizzlies scored the first four points of overtime sand still held a four-point lead with 52 seconds to go when Durant buried a three, cutting the lead to one. After a Thabo Sefolosha steal, Gasol picked up his sixth foul and sent Durant to the line, who hit one of two to tie the game. On the next play, Conley hit Tony Allen, who then found Randolph for the go-ahead bucket. Ibaka was called for traveling a play later and the Grizzlies got the ball back. Courtney Lee sank two free throws for the Grizzlies and Durant’s three wouldn’t go down on the other end. Randolph hit two more from the charity stripe to put the game away.
Lee finished with 16 points while Gasol had 16 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Udrih, filling in for the suspended Nick Calathes, poured in 14 points in 14 minutes.
Ibaka had 15 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks. No other Thunder player scored more than seven points.
Game 3 is Thursday at 8:00 pm EST and is on TNT.
Game 1: Thunder 100, Grizzlies 86