Grizzlies edge Thunder in OT to even series
Oklahoma City, OK (SportsNetwork.com) - The Memphis Grizzlies took everything the Oklahoma City Thunder had on Monday and stole Game 2 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series with a thrilling 111-105 overtime victory.
Zach Randolph put in a go-ahead layup with 26 seconds left in OT and the Grizzlies scored the game's final six points to send the series to Memphis even at a game apiece.
A wild finish saw Memphis survive a miraculous four-point play from Kevin Durant in the final minute of regulation and Kendrick Perkins' overtime- forcing putback at the buzzer.
Randolph scored 25 points, Mike Conley donated 19 points with 12 assists and Marc Gasol and Courtney Lee each chipped in 16 points for the victors.
Durant finished with 36 points and 11 rebounds while Russell Westbrook added 29 points, eight assists and seven boards. The duo combined to shoot just 23- of-56 from the field, however, and the Thunder connected on only 39.8 percent of their shots to lose home-court advantage in the series.
Game 3 is scheduled for Thursday at FedExForum, and if the first two games of this tight series are any indication, it will be another dogfight.
The Grizzlies nearly rallied from a 22-point deficit in the opener before eventually dropping a 100-86 decision.
They led most of the way Monday, only to fall behind by one, 93-92, in the final minute of regulation after Durant threw down a dunk in transition.
On the ensuing possession, Conley secured his own rebound and threw back to a wide-open Mike Miller at the top of the key for a go-ahead 3-pointer.
Conley combined to go 3-of-4 from the foul line the next two times down for a 98-93 lead prior to Durant connecting on a stunning shot in the corner. Gasol was draped all over the MVP candidate and bumped him out of bounds, and Durant blindly sent a high-arching rainbow that somehow went in.
The free throw cut Oklahoma City's deficit to one, and Conley only made 1-of-2 at the stripe to make it a two-point game at 99-97 with 12 seconds to go.
With no timeouts to use, Westbrook sped down the court and forced up a deep, contested 3-point try that drew iron. Perkins, though, boxed out Lee and narrowly got his putback to fall just before the horn.
Durant had a chance to give the Thunder the lead at the foul line with 35 seconds left in overtime, but split the trip to tie things at 105-105.
At that point, good ball movement by the Grizzlies, who assisted on 30 of their 43 made baskets, provided the difference, as Tony Allen cut into the lane, drew another defender and fed Randolph for an easy layup.
After Serge Ibaka was whistled for traveling, Lee sank two free throws and Randolph added two more to put the game away.
The Thunder missed 10 of their first 12 shots and the Grizzlies, after scoring just 13 points in transition in the opener, netted eight on the fastbreak in the opening frame.
Even though Durant was limited to two points in the second quarter, Westbrook kept Oklahoma City close, capping his 17-point half with a 19-footer to bring the hosts within 46-43 at intermission.
A Thabo Sefolosha 3-pointer with 4:14 remaining in the third quarter gave Oklahoma City its first lead since it was 6-4, though the Grizzlies answered by scoring the next seven points to take the lead right back at 66-60.
Memphis took a 68-65 edge into the fourth, and the Grizzlies' Beno Udrih came off the bench to score six of his 14 points in the first four minutes, with his baseline jumper putting the underdogs in front by nine at 79-70.
The Thunder were outscored in the paint by a 56-36 margin ... Ibaka finished with 15 points, 11 boards and five blocks ... Memphis shot 49.4 percent from the field ... The Grizzlies' bench outscored Oklahoma City's reserves, 33-14.
04/21 23:50:55 ET