Final: Grizzlies 94, Thunder 101
Stat of the Night
James Harden engineered a comeback from a 10-point deficit late in the third quarter. He hit two 3-pointers and drove for two layups during a 15-4 run to start the fourth quarter for OKC.
Marc Gasol's two free throws in the final minute of the third quarter briefly bumped the lead up to 10 before James Harden ignited OKC comeback.
Tony Allen had 17 points and O.J. Mayo scored 13.
The Grizzlies were unable to hold on to a halftime lead and lost Friday's game to the Thunder 101-94 in Oklahoma City.
Marc Gasol had 24 points and eight rebounds and Rudy Gay scored 23 with eight boards.
Gasol, Gay and Durant all played the entire second half in a thrilling renewal of the Western semifinals won by Oklahoma City last year in seven games. That series included a triple-overtime classic and another game that went to one overtime.
The Grizzlies are in the midst of playing nine of 12 away from home.
Grizzlies at Celtics, Sunday, February 5, 11:00am.
Join us at Sweet Grass Next Door in midtown for a Grizzlies watch party brunch. Tune In.
What was the difference in the fourth quarter?
“They scored 32 points and we scored 17. They made a lot of big shots. They got to the free throw line and we did not. We started taking too many jump shots as we were coming down the stretch, but my guys played really hard. They left it out there and they didn’t have enough in the tank coming down the stretch. We kept a couple of guys that had to play – like Mike (Conley) played the whole fourth quarter. Rudy (Gay) and Marc (Gasol) had a few minutes out in the fourth quarter. It was just such a close ball game. Every time that we have played them and they have gone small on us, they played us. They hurt us in that fourth quarter with their small lineup.”
They made a lot of threes in the fourth quarter. Do you feel those were contested shots?
“Some of them were but some of the shots we were on them. We were on them but we didn’t contest them. They were driving to the basket well. So you are in a stance playing drive defense and they rise up and shot a three. That’s just the way it goes.”
On Kevin Durant:
“He’s a great player. I mean that’s all you can say – he’s a great player. He made great plays and great shots down the stretch. He took over the game. He’s going to be one of the all-time greats if he stays healthy.”
On the final minutes of the game:
“It came down to getting stops. They went small and we had a few mislaps. I thought we fought hard. Ain’t no such thing as moral victories. Right now they got our number; they’re the team to beat. They beat us in the playoffs last year and went to the Western Conference Finals.”
On the Thunder:
“They looked poised. I take my hat off to them. They’re the better team right now. We got a lot of work to do.”
On the Thunder down the stretch:
“They executed better and they got the shots they wanted every time. We were scrambling defensively and offensively.”
On Memphis’ effort:
“Tonight wasn’t about effort. We did a good job throughout the whole game. It was more about executing, mentally you know, playing through our mistakes. With that kind of effort we’re going to be ok.”