Game Recap - Playoffs Round 2 Game 5 vs Memphis Grizzlies

Playoffs Game Recap
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0 Minutes played by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in the fourth quarter.

1 Wins the Thunder needs in two games to win this second-round series.

2 Turnovers by the Thunder in the second quarter; it had eight in the first period.

3 Blocks by Serge Ibaka, giving him 41 for the playoffs.

4 Guards the Thunder had on the court with center Nazr Mohammed in the fourth quarter – Nate Robinson, Royal Ivey, Eric Maynor and Daequan Cook.

5 Times the game was tied.

9 Shot attempts by Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph. He made 3 – one in the second half.

12 Players to score for the Thunder.

20 First-half points scored by the Thunder bench. The reserves shot a combined 9-for-15 from the field and 2-for-3 from 3-point range.

27 Thunder’s largest lead.

38.1 First-half shooting percentage by the Grizzlies.

50 Total rebounds by the Thunder – 15 offensive, 35 defensive.

53 Points by the Thunder bench. The Grizzlies starters had 45.

90 Combined free throw attempts by both teams.

GAME 6 in the best-of-seven series will be played Friday night in the FedEx Forum. Tipoff is 8:00 p.m. Central and will air live on ESPN and the Thunder Radio Network.

The Thunder is treating the game exactly as it did for 82 games in the regular season and 10 games in the playoffs: it’s the “next game,” no bigger than the previous games.

“Going into the series you have to win four and we understand that. We’re at three,” Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks said. “Tonight was a great game, but we have to move on and we will. We’ll focus on Game 6. We have to do a lot of things well to beat them on their home court. We’re looking forward to the challenge.”


GAME IN REVIEW

THE GAME WAS OVER WHEN: The Thunder closed the second quarter with a 16-4 run to jump out to a 46-35 lead at halftime.  

Thunder fans have watched the Grizzlies battle back from deficits larger than 11, but this night had a different feeling. The Thunder was not about to let go of a sure thing – Oklahoma City led, 46-35, at the half.  

“We got a good lead going into halftime. We were really locked in defensively and made valuable stops,” Thunder forward Kevin Durant said. “We had a tough start, but we put pressure on them and made them take tough shots. I thought we did a great job of being resilient.”  

The Thunder, getting inspired play on the defensive end from Nick Collison and Nazr Mohammed, systematically built its 11-point lead to as many as 19 entering the final 12 minutes of play.  

 “I think it all came together in the second quarter. We started off a little slow,” Thunder guard Russell Westbrook said, noting the 17-17 tie after the first quarter, “but in the second quarter, everyone started to pick it up defensively.”

TURNING POINTS: James Harden drills a 3-point shot with 1.0 left in the first quarter to pull the Thunder even at 17-17. That is the first tie since 0-0. … The Thunder, trailing 31-30 in the second quarter, closes the half on a 16-4 run to take a 46-35 lead at halftime. … Russell Westbrook lunges into the passing lane to steal a Mike Conley-to-O.J. Mayo pass and sprints down court for a vicious dunk that leads to a Memphis time out with 7:36 to play. That play launches the Thunder on a 14-7 run to build 65-46 lead.

PLAYS THE BOX SCORE WON'T SHOW: Thabo Sefolosha slicing through the lane to slam home a Kendrick Perkins miss, the Thunder’s first two points of the game. … Sefolosha slicing between Zach Randolph and Perkins to collect a defensive rebound. … Nick Collison strips of O.J. Mayo, gathers the ball and hits James Harden with an outlet pass for a fast break lay-in. … Nazr Mohammed backs down Randolph, turns, faces and shoots over him for a bucket. … Daequan Cook drilling a 3 deep in the corner with Shane Battier and Darrell Arthur in his face. … Cook stealing a ball with the Grizzlies attempting a break out, driving the lane in traffic for a left-handed lay in. …  Serge Ibaka rising above Randolph and Marc Gasol for an offensive rebound and going right back up for two. … Durant grabbing a defensive rebound and starting a breakout with a pass to Westbrook on the wing . Westbrook hits James Harden for a dunk and 37-31 lead and Memphis calls time out. … Harden draws a charge on Tony Allen with Grizzlies trying to get momentum. … Harden saves a ball from going out of bounds in front of the Grizzlies bench and spots Durant across the court. Durant catches the ball and sprints to the rim for a 41-33 lead. … Ibaka forces a jump ball with Gasol as both battle for a rebound. Ibaka wins the jump and, after a series of plays, slams home a dunk for a 45-33 lead. … Westbrook steps in front of a Mike Conley pass to O.J. Mayo and breaks away for a vicious one-handed dunk and a 51-39 lead. … Harden catches a tough bounce pass from Collison and spots Cook in the corner for a 3 and a 76-54 lead. … Mohammad, his right arm pinned by Gasol, uses his left hand to tap a rebound to Cook. Play leads to a 3 by Cook at the other end.

STATS WORTH REPEATING: 53-45. That was the difference in scoring between the Thunder bench (53) and the Grizzlies’ starters (45). … 19-for-54. The shooting totals of the Grizzlies starters. … 50-33. The Thunder’s edge in rebounding for the game.

LAST WORD I: “That was a very good win for us. We did a lot of things well defensivley, as good as you can play against a very good team. Offensive rebounds were a big key going in to the game, and I think we only gave up eight. So that was very good. A lot of guys did a very good job. Nick was terrific on their bigs. All of our bigs really did a good job battling all night. I thought the energy in the building was good, but that is what we expect. Our guys really did a good job staying focused and in the moment and now it is time to just move on.” – Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks.

LAST WORD II: “It was a fun game, and it was a long game. “We learned what we did wrong early in the season, and then receiving our valuable additions have lead to our improvement. By putting Serge Ibaka in the starting line also helped us and also gaining Kendrick Perkins has been our advantages for growth defensively. However, we learned and became more locked in as the season progressed.” – Thunder forward Kevin Durant.

THIS AND THAT: Grizzlies open the game with Tony Allen defending Russell Westbrook, leaving Mike Conley on Thabo Sefolosha and Sam Young on Kevin Durant. … Zach Randolph called for his fourth personal foul with 5:51 remaining in the third quarter following a free throw by Marc Gasol. … Randolph had one shot in the second half and missed three consecutive free throws.

-- Ron Matthews, THUNDER.NBA.COM