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(Saturday, April 19th)
Final Score: Oklahoma City 100, Memphis 86
Oklahoma City, OK (SportsNetwork.com) - Kevin Durant finished with 33 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 100-86 win over the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 1 of this Western Conference quarterfinal series.
The Thunder dominated the first half and led by 22 at the break, but saw their lead shrink to just two points, 74-72, following Mike Miller's 3-pointer with 8:46 to go.
Durant found Serge Ibaka under the basket for a 3-point play on the other end to spark a 13-1 run that essentially sealed the win for Oklahoma City.
"In the third quarter, our defense wasn't as aggressive, but give them credit. They came out when they were down a big number, they came out better," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "We didn't get the stops in the third that allowed us to play at our pace, but we responded and had a very good fourth quarter."
Durant scored 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting over the final 12 minutes.
Russell Westbrook added 23 points, 10 rebounds and five assists and Ibaka had 17 points, nine rebounds and four blocks in the win.
The Thunder outscored the Grizzlies 32-13 in transition, despite forcing just six turnovers.
Zach Randolph paced the Grizzlies with 21 points and 11 rebounds while Mike Conley and Marc Gasol finished with 16 points apiece. Conley added 11 assists in the setback.
"It was an interesting game. They came out with a lot of force like we anticipated. They played with a lot of force, went to the rim and got out in transition," said Grizzlies coach David Joerger. "We did a good job managing our turnovers, but to allow them to get 21 points on fastbreak points is just way too many for us."
Memphis small forward Tayshaun Prince played just 4 1/2 minutes before he left due to an illness.
Game 2 is in Oklahoma City on Monday.
After scoring just 34 points in the first half, the Grizzles appeared to turn things around in the third stanza, pouring in 31 points and cutting their 22- point deficit to just four.
Memphis scored the first six points of the third and had the lead to single digits, 60-51, following Tony Allen's three-point play with 7:17 remaining in the third.
A pair of Ibaka free throws just over a minute later pushed the Thunder's spread back to 11, but the Grizzlies scored six straight to make it 64-59 with 3:49 to go.
The teams traded baskets and OKC took an eight-point edge, but Randolph's layup in the closing seconds of the third made it 69-65 entering the final frame.
"We tried to slow the game down. I thought we did a good job in the third quarter and stood up and took a stand," said Joerger.
Durant and Westbrook combined to go 1-for-9 from the field in the third.
Miller's first points of the game came with 8:46 when he nailed the 3-pointer that made it a two-point game.
Durant then drew in a trio of defenders as he slashed to the hoop and dropped the ball off to Ibaka, who slammed it home as he was fouled. Ibaka sank the free throw and OKC went 3-for-4 from the free throw line to make it 80-72.
Durant nailed a cold-blooded trey with 7:16 left to open a 10-point lead and the Grizzlies never got within single digits the rest of the way.
Durant and Ibaka put the exclamation point on the victory with just under two minutes left. Miller drove to the hoop and had his layup swatted away by Ibaka. Durant grabbed the loose ball and cruised in for a slam for a 93-79 lead.
"We never broke, we did a great job staying together," Westbrook said.
Westbrook and Durant combined for 12 points as the Thunder opened the game on a 16-5 run. OKC's margin swelled to 13, 23-10, when Westbrook found Durant for a fastbreak slam. Westbrook grabbed a rebound and heaved a pass down court to Durant, who seemingly took two steps from half court before hauling in the pass and flushing it through the rim.
The Thunder lead grew as large as 14 in the opening frame before the hosts took a 29-16 lead into the second.
Memphis finished 5-for-29 from the field over the first 12 minutes.
OKC quickly pushed its lead to 18 after Caron Butler nailed a 25-foot 3- pointer for a 36-18 lead less than two minutes into the second period.
Butler hit a stepback jumper moments later for a 40-20 lead and Durant drilled a triple to make it 45-24 with 7:19 to go in the first half. Westbrook's fast break layup made it 54-30 and Durant hit a jumper with six seconds left for a 25-point edge.
Johnson hit a 28-foot pullup with two seconds left in the half to cut the deficit to 56-34 going into the break.
Durant was 13-for-25 from the field. Westbrook finished 8-of-19 ... OKC was 28-for-32 from the free throw line while Memphis finished a dismal 18-for-31 from the charity stripe ... Memphis outscored the Thunder 50-34 in the paint, but were outrebounded 51-41 ... OKC finished with 10 blocked shots ... Grizzlies guard Nick Calathes missed the game due to a 20-game suspension for violating the NBA's anti-drug policy.
04/20 01:57:17 ET
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