Game Recap: Thunder 101, Grizzlies 107

News and notes following the Thunder’s 107-101 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday:

  • Thunder fights back from a big deficit to take a brief lead and then trail by just one at the quarter break, 25-24.

  • Cole Aldrich gets some playing time as he comes out to start the second quarter...

  • Memphis uses a 21-8 run to take a 58-46 lead at the half. Russell Westbrook and James Harden in double figures at that point, 13 for Westbrook and 10 for Harden on 4-for-5 shooting. Westbrook finishes with 27 to lead the Thunder and Harden ends up with 16. Kevin Durant had 23. “We tried to get everything back too quickly,” KD told reporters after the game, “Turnovers and transition points bit us tonight. We just have to get better. We couldn’t get over the hump tonight but you have to give them credit.”

  • Serge Ibaka with solid defense on Memphis star Zach Randolph, he had just five points at the break and finished with 17.

  • Thunder struggling in the first part of the third quarter appear to be out of sync on both ends of the court. But then Durant nails a pair of 3-point bombs to close the gap. Followed by another three this time from Westbrook.

  • Thunder picking it up the last half of the third quarter, defensive intensity is up, more ball movement too on offense. Oklahoma City hitting seven straight shots late in the third.

  • Memphis led by 17 at one point in the third quarter, but a 17-6 run closes that to just six points, 79-73 at then end of the third quarter.

  • Thunder coming out with a lot of intensity in the fourth quarter, cutting the Griz lead down to two points.

  • Oklahoma City coming back by hitting six of its last seven from beyond the arc, but fourth quarter turnovers and Memphis crashing the offensive glass stop the rally short.

  • Thunder outscored 68-44 in the paint and 20-12 in second chance points. “We gave up too many points in the paint,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks, “We just did not play the kind of defense that’s needed to win in this league.” “We just didn’t play well for the first two and a half to three quarters,” said Thunder center Nick Collison, “We were bad in a lot of areas. We’re capable of playing better. All these games are important this time in the season.”

  • Oklahoma City with 37 points at the free throw line last night but just 11 tonight.

  • Memphis now 14-1 on the second night of a back-to-back and 11-0 at home, best in the NBA.

PLAYS THE BOX SCORE WON’T SHOW: Kevin Durant baits Tony Allen into his second foul, early in the game. It puts Allen, the Grizzlies’ best defensive player, on the bench less than halfway through the first quarter...Nick Collison takes another charge in the first quarter. Never hesitates to give up his body and end up sprawled in the court...Collison fronts Marc Gasol, tips his pass and then controls it leading to a basket by James Harden...Moment later Collison sets a big time pick for Harden who is then wide open and hits a jumper from just beyond the free throw line to give OKC the lead for the first time in the game...Cole Aldrich comes in and sets a great pick on Tony Allen, who flops, and does not get a call...Thunder defense playing well halfway through second quarter limiting Memphis to just 3-for-10 from the field during those six minutes...Center Nazr Mohammed with a nice move to get himself open in the third quarter. He sees the defense go out to double team Durant then Mohammed steps by himself into the lane giving Westbrook a big target. Mohammed gets the pass from Russ and scores...Early in the first quarter Durant gets his hand up and tips a rebound away from Zach Randolph, out to James Harden who scores...Durant’s been hot from long range but then he steps in and blocks a shot on Marc Gasol...Westbrook with great hustle, passing out to Cook who missed a three but Russ dives into the lane to get the rebound and score on the putback and is fouled...

STATS WORTH REPEATING: The Thunder scored 37 points at the free throw line Sunday night against Phoenix but just 11 the next night at Memphis...Tony Allen, the former Oklahoma State All-American, must get fired up for the Thunder, his top three scoring games of the season were against OKC, 27, 21 and 19 points.

LAST WORD: “It will be tough to win in Philadelphia,” Brooks said of the next stop on this road trip, “but that’s what we need to do. Finish up thew trip and try to get a win.”

UP NEXT: The Thunder road trip continues Wednesday night in Philadelphia. Tip-off against the 76ers is set for 6 PM on Fox Sports Oklahoma and the Thunder Radio Network.