Zach Randolph had 21 points and a franchise-record 21 rebounds, and the Memphis Grizzlies rallied from a 16-point deficit to stun the Oklahoma City Thunder 101-93 in overtime Saturday in Memphis and grab a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference semifinal.
The Grizzlies are trying to do something no NBA team has done in climbing from the No. 8 seed all the way to the Western Conference finals. They moved two wins away from that by remaining undefeated on their home court this postseason.
Memphis coach Lionel Hollins knows his Grizzlies were fortunate, but says that's the NBA playoffs.
"In order to go further, you always have to be in games where you've got to do something miraculous in order to win the game," Hollins said. "I thought this was miraculous the way we fought back after being down 16, and it was a super win. And like I said, by the grace of God we were fortunate to come out on top."
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The Grizzlies did it with an amazing comeback in a game they couldn't have looked more out of synch or rusty early, but scored the first six points of overtime to finish off the victory. Guard Mike Conley said the Grizzlies just didn't come with effort the first three quarters.
"I think once we looked up at the clock and saw how many points we were down, a little bit of desperation hit," Conley said. "We were like, 'Man, we cannot lose this game.' And guys amped up their game, made some changes here and there, and we were able to just be scrappy and play our game, and fortunately we got the win."
Kevin Durant, the NBA's scoring leader in the regular season and these playoffs, took only three shots in overtime and missed them all. He finished with 22 points, his lowest this postseason after averaging 31.6 points coming in. He also attempted only one free throw, which he missed. Durant groaned heavily as he walked away after talking with reporters.
"This is a tough loss," Durant said. "I'm trying to stay positive, but it was tough. This was tough. We were up 13 going into the fourth, had a good roll going. It was tough."
O.J. Mayo had 18 points off the bench. Conley also scored 18, Marc Gasol had 16 and Tony Allen 10.
Russell Westbrook had 23 points and 12 assists, but committed five of his seven turnovers after the third quarter before fouling out late in overtime for the Thunder. Serge Ibaka had 14 points and James Harden 12.
Thunder coach Scott Brooks said the Thunder played the way they wanted for three quarters.
"And we stopped doing it," Brooks said. "The last seven or eight minutes, we just stopped doing it, and we gave into their play. I give them credit. They really stepped up and got into us and made us take tough shots."
Now the Thunder's focus turns to Game 4 on Monday night.
"The quicker we can get over it and realize that we need to win one game here and we can still do that the better," Thunder forward Nick Collison said. "If we win Game 4, then we'll still be in good shape. As disappointing as it is, we need to get over it quickly and be ready to play in Game 4."
OKLAHOMA CITY (93): Durant 10-24 0-1 22, Ibaka 6-12 2-3 14, Perkins 2-6 2-2 6, Westbrook 7-22 8-8 23, Sefolosha 2-7 2-2 6, Collison 2-5 2-2 6, Harden 4-9 3-3 12, Mohammed 1-2 0-0 2, Maynor 0-3 2-2 2, Cook 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 34-93 21-23 93
MEMPHIS (101): Young 2-6 0-0 4, Randolph 8-22 5-8 21, Gasol 4-14 8-12 16, Conley 8-15 1-2 18, Allen 2-5 6-10 10, Mayo 6-18 4-4 18, Battier 1-2 0-0 2, Haddadi 0-1 5-6 5, Vasquez 1-2 0-0 2, Arthur 2-5 1-2 5. Totals 34-90 30-44 101
Oklahoma City20 31 25 10 7—o 93 Memphis 22 21 20 23 15—101
3-Point Goals—Oklahoma City 4-21 (Durant 2-7, Westbrook 1-3, Harden 1-5, Cook 0-3, Sefolosha 0-3), Memphis 3-10 (Mayo 2-6, Conley 1-3, Randolph 0-1). Fouled Out—Westbrook, Perkins. Rebounds—Oklahoma City 61 (Perkins 13), Memphis 70 (Randolph 21). Assists—Oklahoma City 19 (Westbrook 12), Memphis 17 (Conley, Mayo 4). Total Fouls—Oklahoma City 30, Memphis 17. Technicals—Randolph. A—18,119 (18,119).