Thunder roll past weary Grizzlies, take series leadMay 12, 2011 - 5:46 AM Oklahoma City, OK (Sports Network) - Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook weren't needed for the fourth quarter, much less three overtimes, as the Oklahoma City Thunder rolled over the Memphis Grizzlies, 99-72, in a pivotal Game 5 of this Western Conference semifinal series.
Just two days after a thrilling triple-overtime win in Memphis, the Thunder forced the Grizzlies into tying a season-low for points to take their first lead of the series, 3-2.
"We did a lot of things well defensively, as good as you can play against a very good team," Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said. "Our guys really did a good job staying focused."
Durant had a game-high 19 points, Westbrook totaled 11 points and six assists and five other Oklahoma City players netted at least nine, including 18 coming from Daequan Cook.
Fatigue from Monday's instant classic appeared to play a factor, particularly for Memphis power forward Zach Randolph, who had just nine points following a 34-point, 56-minute effort in Game 4.
The Grizzlies, who were outrebounded by an embarrassing 50-33 margin, will try to even the seesaw series when they host Game 6 on Friday.
"We're not feeling sorry for ourselves. We have to go home and regroup and be ready to play. The series is not over by any means ... I still believe in my team and that we'll come back," Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins said.
Memphis hit three of its first four shots from the floor, then made a mere 13- of-38 (34 percent) from the field the rest of the first half.
Oklahoma City was just as inefficient early on with nine turnovers in the first quarter, and the sloppy play resulted in a 17-17 game after 12 minutes.
It stayed close in the second before the hosts began pulling away in the final five minutes, ending the half on a 16-4 run. Serge Ibaka's putback of a James Harden miss started the flurry for a 32-31 lead, and Westbrook drained a three-pointer on the next possession.
Durant put in back-to-back field goals a little later, and his free throw in the closing seconds yielded a 46-35 cushion.
"We had a tough start to the game, but we did a good job being resilient and fought back," Durant said. "We made sure we were re-energized tonight ... We have a good level of confidence [going forward]."
Randolph picked up his fourth foul with the Grizzlies still trailing by 11 midway through the third, and with Memphis' leading scorer on the bench, the hosts stepped on the gas.
Durant's alley-oop lay-in began a string of nine straight points that Nick Collison capped with a three-point play, pushing the margin to 65-46 with 2:40 showing.
Holding a comfortable 71-52 cushion heading into the fourth, Brooks felt comfortable resting his starters, and the bench did more than enough to secure the much-needed victory.
In 159 previous instances of a seven-game NBA playoff series being tied, 2-2, the winner of Game 5 has won 132 times (83 percent)...Memphis averaged 99.9 points per game in the regular season and scored at least 99 points in all but two of their previous 10 playoffs games. The team also scored 72 in a loss to Orlando on November 15...Marc Gasol, who played a game-high 57-plus minutes in Game 4, was the only Grizzlies player to score in double digits, logging 15 points....Nazr Mohammed had 10 points, while Ibaka, Collison and Harden each went for nine in the win...The Thunder had 20 fastbreak points to Memphis' seven.
- MEMPHIS: 72
OKLAHOMA CITY: 99
May 12 12:06 AM
- MEMPHIS: 52
OKLAHOMA CITY: 71
End of 3rd
May 11 11:32 PM
- MEMPHIS: 35
OKLAHOMA CITY: 46
May 11 10:40 PM
- MEMPHIS: 17
OKLAHOMA CITY: 17
End of 1st
May 11 10:07 PM
- MEMPHIS: 0
OKLAHOMA CITY: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
May 11 9:42 PM
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