Behind 20 points from Mike Conley, the Memphis Grizzlies survived a late game rally from the Oklahoma City Thunder to win in overtime, 98-95. The victory gives the Grizzlies a 2-1 series lead.
Zach Randolph added 16 points and 10 rebounds while Tony Allen poured in 16 points and nine rebounds.
It was the second consecutive game the Thunder got a wild four-point play to help force overtime, this time from Russell Westbrook, and the second consecutive game the Grizzlies turned the momentum around in overtime.
Westbrook and Kevin Durant each scored 30 points to lead the Thunder.
The Thunder seized momentum early in overtime on a three-point play by Durant, but the Grizzlies took control from there, scoring the next eight points. After the Thunder cut the lead back to three, Westbrook missed a three and Durant took a long, covered three that was off the mark. Trailing by four, Westbrook was fouled while attempting a three with 0.9 seconds left, but after missing the second and third free throws, time expired.
The Thunder offense looked completely lost in the early-going. The Grizzlies, an excellent defensive team, helped slow the Thunder ball movement and forced them to try to get to the rim one-on-one. Although the Thunder have two players that are about as good as anyone at getting to the basket, it’s tough to do without any other real threats on offense.
The Grizzlies held the Thunder to 18 points in each of the first two quarters and took an eight-point lead into the half.
The Grizzlies pushed the lead to as large as 17 in the third quarter and although the Thunder kept threatening to get back in the game, they couldn’t seem to break that 10-point barrier. That changed in the middle of the fourth quarter when the Thunder held the Grizzlies scoreless for over seven minutes of game-time, using a 17-0 run, capped by a Westbrook three, to tie the game at 81. After back-to-back buckets by Tony Allen, the Thunder got another three and a free throw from Westbrook to complete a four-point play and tie the game. On the ensuing possession, Conley missed a layup, then Durant’s three at the buzzer wouldn’t go.
Durant and Westbrook had awful nights shooting again, combining to go 19-of-53 from the field. The rest of team combined to score 35 points on 15-of-34 shooting.
Game 4 is Saturday night at 9:30 pm EST and is on ESPN.