Durant powers Thunder past GrizzliesFeb 4, 2012 - 5:33 AM Oklahoma City, OK (Sports Network) - Kevin Durant scored 36 points, including the go-ahead three-pointer in the final minute, as the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied late to take down the Memphis Grizzlies, 101-94, on Friday.
Durant also had 10 rebounds -- all in the second half -- while James Harden netted 24 points and Russell Westbrook contributed 21 in the Thunder's second straight win and their sixth in their last seven contests.
"He's a great player. I mean that's all you can say -- he's a great player. He made great plays and great shots down the stretch," Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins said about Durant. "He took over the game. He's going to be one of the all-time greats if he stays healthy."
Marc Gasol paced the Grizzlies with 24 points and Rudy Gay netted 23 in Memphis' fifth loss in seven games.
Oklahoma City was outscored in each of the first three quarters and entered the fourth trailing by a score of 77-69.
After Tony Allen's three-pointer gave Memphis a seven-point cushion, 80-73, Harden caught fire, scoring the Thunder's next eight points, including back- to-back threes to knot the game at 81.
Oklahoma City then held a one-possession lead over the next four minutes until Westbrook's trey followed by Durant making 1-of-2 free throws put the Thunder ahead 92-87 with 2 1/2 minutes to play.
The Grizzlies battled back with a 7-2 spurt to tie the game at 94 points apiece on a Mike Conley three-pointer.
Then, on Oklahoma City's next touch, Durant, who had been 0-for-5 from three- point range, sent a long shot attempt a couple feet beyond the right wing that fell in for the game-deciding shot with 53.8 seconds showing on the clock.
Conley's bad pass on Memphis' ensuing possession marked the Grizzlies' 19th turnover of the game, and Durant put the game out of reach with a well- defended shot from the foul line as the shot clock expired.
A pair of Durant free throws after a missed O.J. Mayo three-pointer accounted for the final margin.
"Going into this game, we knew it was going to be a very physical ball game. Both teams were going to play hard, aggressive defense and force each other out of our comfort zone and both teams did," Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said. "James [Harden] hit some big threes and also played well. Kevin [Durant], obviously is one of the best players and he hit big shots down the stretch."
Memphis led, 30-25, after a back-and-forth first quarter that saw seven lead changes and three ties.
Mayo then scored six straight points to kick off an early 8-2 run in the second quarter to give the Grizzlies their largest lead of the game, 38-27.
But the Thunder battled back with a 13-4 spurt over the next five minutes to get within two, 42-40, and after trading baskets over the next four possessions, Memphis netted the last four points of the quarter and held a 50-44 lead at the break.
The Thunder got within one early on the third, but a 9-1 swing by Memphis stretched its lead to nine points and the Grizzlies held at least a five-point advantage for the remainder of the frame en route to a 77-69 lead after three.
Oklahoma City owns an NBA-best record of 18-4...Oklahoma City recorded 29 points off of Memphis' 19 giveaways, while the Grizzlies scored 26 points off 17 Thunder turnovers...Memphis held a 39-35 advantage on the glass and outscored the Thunder 50-38 in the paint.
- MEMPHIS: 94
OKLAHOMA CITY: 101
Feb 3 10:34 PM
- MEMPHIS: 77
OKLAHOMA CITY: 69
End of 3rd
Feb 3 9:56 PM
- MEMPHIS: 50
OKLAHOMA CITY: 44
Feb 3 9:10 PM
- MEMPHIS: 30
OKLAHOMA CITY: 25
End of 1st
Feb 3 8:37 PM
- MEMPHIS: 0
OKLAHOMA CITY: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Feb 3 8:12 PM
- Warriors-Thunder Preview May 23
- Draymond, Westbrook swap barbs over fouls, kicks May 23
- Warriors' Green could face discipline after flagrant foul May 23
- Durant, Westbrook lead Thunder in blowout win over Warriors May 23
- Mark Cuban tells 'Meet The Press' Thunder are his title pick May 22
- Warriors-Thunder Preview May 21
- Warriors' big men must come up big in Game 3 against Thunder May 21
- Donovan, Kerr took very different paths to NBA coaching May 21
- Thunder will try to bounce back after big loss to Warriors May 20
- Column: Savor our version of Magic-Bird - Curry vs LeBron May 20
- Stephen Curry's sore right elbow not limiting him on court May 20
- Zhou Qi's potential could lead to much NBA draft intrigue May 20