=== Grizzlies slip past Thunder ===
Memphis, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Courtney Lee scored a season-high 24
points and Zach Randolph recorded a double-double of 23 points and 13
rebounds to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 90-87 win over the Oklahoma
City Thunder from FedEx Forum.
Mike Conley finished with 19 points and seven assists for Memphis, which has
won three straight games. Marc Gasol returned to the Grizzlies' lineup
after a 23-game absence because of an MCL sprain and finished with 12 points
and four rebounds in the win.
"I got the goose bumps for about a minute, or two minutes," Gasol said of
returning to the floor. "I felt like I was a rookie again, even better than
that. Today was a special day for me, but we move on."
Kevin Durant poured in 37 points for Oklahoma City, which has lost three
straight on the road. Reggie Jackson added 17 points and Serge Ibaka scored
11 points with nine rebounds and four blocks in the setback.
After Jackson opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer, the Grizzlies went on
a 15-3 run to take a 58-53 lead. Conley scored the first five points during
the run and Randolph capped it with a pair at the line midway through the
Lee hit a deep 2-pointer, originally ruled as a three, as time expired in the
quarter as Memphis led 72-67 heading into the fourth.
A quick 6-0 sprint got the Thunder within one at 74-73, but Conley countered
with a 3-pointer to push the lead to four with just over eight minutes left in
The lead was six in favor of Memphis when Durant pulled up on the baseline and
knocked down a 12-foot jumper, then buried a top-of-the-key jumper on the
following possession to make it an 86-84 game with 1:53 left.
Randolph split a pair at the line to increase the margin and Gasol had a
chance to put the game away, but his wide-open hook shot from inside was
short, leaving the door ajar for Oklahoma City to tie the game with time
Durant drove and kicked it to the far corner to Ibaka, who missed a 3-point
try for the tie and Randolph pulled down the board with 11.6 seconds left.
Randolph was fouled and made 1-of-2 to make it an 88-84 contest, but Ibaka
answered at the other end with a three.
Lee calmly knocked down a pair from the line with 1.3 seconds left, however,
as the Grizzlies hung on for the win.
Lee buried back-to-back threes to ignite a 14-2 burst in the first quarter
which put the Grizzlies up 18-7 at the 5:06 mark.
"We didn't do a good job of starting the game off on him," Thunder head coach
Scott Brooks said of his team's defense on Lee. "Throughout the game, he
sprinkled in some big shots. We can't afford for that to happen."
Durant answered with five straight points, but the Grizzlies countered
the flurry with a 6-0 sprint. Lee scored the final four points, the last
of which came on a tip-in off his own miss to give the Grizzlies a 24-12
The Thunder closed to within eight, 24-16, at the end of the first quarter.
Oklahoma City went on an 11-1 run over the first four minutes of the second,
with Jackson contributing seven points during the spurt to help the Thunder to
a 27-25 lead.
Gasol ended the drought for Memphis, making his first field goal since
returning to the lineup to knot the game.
Oklahoma City opened up a six-point lead late in the half, but Conley made a
driving layup with 0.7 seconds left in the half to pull Memphis within 47-43
at the break.
Grizzlies guard Tony Allen missed his fifth straight game with a sprained left
wrist ... Memphis was 4-of-14 (28.6 percent) from beyond the arc, with Lee
finishing 2-of-3 from long distance ... Memphis owned a 42-40 edge in points
in the paint ... Oklahoma City's bench outscored Memphis' reserves by a 20-10
01/15 00:56:10 ET
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