Game Recap - Playoffs Round 2 Game 4 at Memphis Grizzlies

Playoffs Game Recap
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1 Turnovers the Thunder had in the second quarter. It had seven in the first.

3:52 Running time of the game in hours and minutes.

6 Number of players with three fouls at halftime – Kendrick Perkins and Nick Collison for the Thunder; Mike Conley, O.J. Mayo, Shane Battier and Darrell Arthur for the Grizzlies.

6:01 Time remaining in second quarter when Kendrick Perkins was whistled for third foul.

9 Sellouts this year in the FedEx Forum – four during the regular season, five in the playoffs.

10 Points in the paint the Thunder gave up in the second quarter. Memphis scored 20 in the first period and finished with 50.

12 Overtime games the Thunder has played this year. It is 9-3 in overtime games and 2-0 in triple-overtime games.

12 Free throws the Thunder made during its 22-9 run to close the first half.

18 Thunder’s largest deficit.

75 Combined points by Russell Westbrook (40) and Kevin Durant (35)

90 Combined free throw attempts by both teams.

GAME 5 in the best-of-seven series will be played Wednesday night in the Oklahoma City Arena. Tipoff is 8:30 p.m. Central and will air live on TNT and the Thunder Radio Network.

The Thunder achieved the goal it set out to do before leaving for Memphis: win one game in the FedEx Forum and take back the home court advantage.

“It’s tied up now and it’s the best-of-three," said Thunder guard James Harden, who scored 19 points, grabbed seven rebounds, dished out seven assists and played strong defense throughout the 49:25 he was on the court. "We have two games at home and we know we can win here now so it’s a matter of us staying together and going out and playing well when we go home.”


GAME IN REVIEW

THE GAME WAS OVER WHEN: Kevin Durant hit a running one-handed jumper while driving to his left, putting the Thunder up 129-123 with 58.8 seconds remaining in the third overtime.

He wasn’t done. With the Grizzlies looking to strike back, and the ball in Zach Randolph’s hands, Durant came up with a steal. He pushed the lead to 131-123 with a 19-foot jumper in which he shook free of Grizzlies forward Shane Battier with a dazzing dribbing display to create space.

Durant would admit later, however, that he didn’t think the game was over until Daequan Cook drilled two free throws to put the Thunder up 133-123 with 14.7 seconds remaining.

TURNING POINTS: Trailing 44-27 with 5:47 to play, the Thunder calls timeout. Head Coach Scott Brooks goes with a three-guard, two-forward lineup made up of Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Daequan Cook, Kevin Durant and Nick Collison. The Thunder responds in attack mode, closing the half with a 22-9 run that includes 12 made free throws. … With 4:55 left in the third quarter, Collison is called for his fourth personal foul. Nazr Mohammed checks in and continues the relentless pressure that Collison had established on Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph on the defense end. “Nazr’s minutes were huge for us,” Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks said. … The Thunder opens the fourth quarter with a 19-8 run to lead 90-80 with 5:25 to play. The Thunder has a chance to close the game late with free throws but fails to convert on two, giving the Grizzlies a chance to send it to overtime with a 3-pointer. Mike Conley does exactly that with Kendrick Perkins lunging toward him with 3.5 seconds left, sending the crowd into a frenzy. … In the first overtime, Greivis Vasquez hits an improbable 3-pointer with 9.4 seconds to tie the game at 109-109, capping an 11-4 Grizzlies run. … In the second overtime, with the Thunder down 117-114, Harden drills a 3-pointer to tie the game with 1:07 remaining.

PLAYS THE BOX SCORE WON'T SHOW: Russell Westbrook hitting Kevin Durant in stride with a quarter-court, two-handed pass. Durant is fouled by Sam Young on his way to the basket, but converts both free throws. … James Harden driving hard to the basket, drawing defenders to him, and dishing to Serge Ibaka, who is fouled on his dunk attempt. … Nick Collison baiting Zach Randolph into a lane violation with Harden shooting his second free throw. Harden misses the shot, but the penalty results in another attempt that Harden makes. … Kevin Durant breaking up a pass in the paint and Nick Collison beating two Grizzlies to the ball. The Thunder heads the other way and Durant scores, 47-36. … Harden, trapped deep in the corner after grabbing a defensive rebound, finds Collison. Heads up play leads to two points at other end, 51-45. … Durant using his long arms to steal the ball from Ish Smith in the paint. Durant picks up the loose ball and finds Harden on the break out. Harden is fouled on his drive to the basket. Two free throws and Thunder is within 53-49 at the half. … Thabo Sefolosha saves a sure turnover in the paint and is fouled. He converts both free throws to pull Thunder within one, 64-63. … Kendrick Perkins forces traveling call on Marc Gasol deep in paint with Thunder up 67-66. … Nazr Mohammed strips the ball from Zach Randolph, resulting in a Memphis turnover. … With Thunder up 85-80, Harden draws a charge on Tony Allen. … In the first overtime, Harden makes a spectacular play following a defensive rebound to keep the ball in play and get it to Collison, who finds Westbrook. The possession leads to two free throws by Westbrook at the other end and more important, the disqualification of Grizzlies guard O.J. Mayo, who drew his sixth foul.

STATS WORTH REPEATING: 22-9 – That was the run the Thunder closed the second quarter on, cutting what was a 17-point deficit with 5:47 to play in the half to four. “We just wanted to close the gap,” Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks said. “I didn’t imagine we’d get it down to four. I was just hoping we could get it to eight or nine.”

LAST WORD I: “Words can’t describe the emotions that went through our team throughout the game. It was a heck of a game. Those are the games that it’s unfortunate that someone has to lose. Both teams played as hard as you can possibly play a basketball game. Every ounce of energy that you had in your body, you gave it to your team-- our team, their team. So many guys played well for us. I thought we won the game actually in yesterday’s film session. We did not do a very good job of closing out the game, and it bothered all of us. It bothered me, and it bothered our team. That’s one of the things I love about our guys. They care. They care for one another. All the guys want to do well. I thought yesterday in the film session we really hashed out some things that we needed to get better at. I thought we did that tonight. We chipped away. We had the game won a few times. They made some incredible shots. That wasn’t bad execution down the stretch. They made some incredible shots. That’s what NBA players do. They make tough shots, and both teams did that tonight.” – Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks.

LAST WORD II: “It was a fun game, and it was a long game. Both teams made big plays. We had a good lead with a minute left. They hit some good shots. You have to give them credit for that. We stuck with it and didn’t let that get us down. They had an advantage with their crowd. It was a fun game. I think we ran through adversity, especially in the first quarter, but we kept pushing through. It was a good win for us.” – Thunder forward Kevin Durant.

LAST WORD III: “It was a great basketball game for the fans and for the NBA. Both teams kept coming back, and fighting; it just became a matter of not having enough bullets as the game wore on. I commend both teams for the effort that they gave and the way that they fought. Nobody wanted to go home. Nobody wanted to lose.” – Grizzlies Coach Lionel Hollins.

-- Ron Matthews, THUNDER.NBA.COM