Notebook: Grizzlies 90, Thunder 89 OT



Posted Mar 21, 2013 12:41 AM

By Marlon W. Morgan, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Marc Gasol's tip-in of a Zach Randolph miss with .08 seconds remaining sent the Memphis Grizzlies were able to come away with a 90-89 overtime win over the Oklahoma City Thunder in front of a sellout crowd of 18,119 at FedExForum.

From the moment Russell Westbrook picked up a technical foul less than two minutes into the game between Memphis (46-21) and Oklahoma City (50-19), you could tell this was going to be an intense battle. And, after an fourth quarter and overtime period that saw 12 lead changes, it wasn't until Memphis came out on top. The win gave the Grizzlies the season series, 2-1, and moved them to within two games in the loss column of the Thunder in the Western Conference standings.

Mike Conley led the Grizzlies with a season-high 24 points, while Kevin Durant had a game-high 32 points.

QUOTABLE: "It's always good to win a game like that because you're playing against one of the best teams in the league. When you have to go through everything we went through in the game, a lot of free throws, a lot of questionable calls here and there, we just played through it. We were forced to handle that adversity against a very good team. That says a lot about our confidence down the stretch and believing we can win regardless."

--Grizzlies guard Mike Conley

THE STAT: The Thunder entered the game as the NBA's top scoring team, averaging 106.7 points per game. The Grizzlies were the league's stingiest team, allowing just 89.2 per game. It was the Grizzlies' defense that prevailed in this one, holding the Thunder to just 89 points, which took them an overtime period to reach that total.

TURNING POINT: The Grizzlies actually got the break they needed when they were down 78-76 and were forced to foul Westbrook with 12.4 second remaining. Westbrook could have made it a two possession game, but he missed the first of two free throws, allowing the Grizzlies to eventually hit a 3-pointer to send the game into overtime.

HOT: With Randolph struggling for most of the night, it was the backcourt of Conley and Jerryd Bayless that kept the Grizzlies in the game after Oklahoma City took the lead in the fourth quarter. Conley scored 11 of his 24 in the period while Bayless had 10 of his 20 in the quarter, including four free throws and a 3-pointer in the final 12 seconds.

NOT: It was a frustrating night for Grizzlies forward Randolph, who felt like he wasn't getting any calls in the paint. Randolph was 6-for-23 from the floor, although he managed to have a double-double with 15 points and 18 rebounds.

IN THE ARENA: On hand to watch the playoff-like game was Dallas Cowboys All-Pro defensive end DeMarcus Ware, who was in Memphis visiting children at St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.

QUOTABLE II: "If your players compete like that, you live with the results. Obviously, it would be a nicer flight to come away with the win, but this is the NBA. You can't win them all, but you have to compete like that."

--Thunder coach Scott Brooks

GOOD MOVE: The Grizzlies had the ball with 25 seconds left in overtime, trailing, 78-74. But, rather than attempt 3-pointers, Memphis coach Lionel Hollins opted to go for two points and foul the Thunder to extend the game and hope the Thunder would miss at the line. They got that break when Westbrook made 1 of the two shots with 12.4 seconds left. Both teams traded four free throws before Bayless drilled a game-tying 3 with 3.7 seconds left. Conley then stole the ball from Durant to send the game into overtime.

BAD MOVE: After Gasol's tip-in, the Thunder still had one time out remaining. Brooks elected not to use it, and the long heave by Westbrook to end the game was well short.

NOTABLE: Westbrook received a technical foul with 10:06 left in the first quarter. Seven seconds later, he fouled Gasol and then pushed him without drawing a second technical. He would be frustrated much of the night as ended up missing 18 of the 25 shots he attempted, although he still managed to score 20 points, including nine in the fourth quarter. Durant shook off a 3-for-9 start in the first half in which he scored 10 points, to go 7-for-14 in the second half and score 20 points. But the league's leading scorer was cold again in the overtime where he was 1-for-5 for two points. ... The Thunder have now lost back-to-back games against Denver and Memphis, two teams right behind them in the Western Conference standings. ... That was the Grizzlies first one-point victory of the season. ... The Thunder were 2-for-18 (.111) from 3-point range after entering the game as the NBA's third-best 3-point shooting team at 38.3 percent. ... Despite a 46-21 record, tonight's game was just the Grizzlies third sellout of the season and first since Nov. 23 against the L.A. Lakers.

UP NEXT: For the Thunder, Friday @ Orlando, Sunday vs. Portland, Wednesday vs. Washington. For the Grizzlies, Friday @ New Orleans, Saturday vs. Boston, Monday @ New York.