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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 period.
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 game.
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 winding down.
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 advantage.
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 margin.
01/15 00:56:10 ET
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