Mayo guides Memphis over ThunderApr 3, 2012 - 6:32 AM Oklahoma City, OK (Sports Network) - O.J. Mayo led six Grizzlies in double- figures with 22 points and Memphis held off a late surge to best the Oklahoma City Thunder, 94-88, on Monday.
Tony Allen netted 15 points, Marc Gasol poured in 13, Rudy Gay supplied 12 and Jeremy Pargo and Zach Randolph finished with 10 apiece for the Grizzlies, who won their second straight and fourth in their last five as they push toward the playoffs.
Kevin Durant paced the Thunder with 21 points and Russell Westbrook had 19, but it was not enough for Oklahoma City to win its seventh straight game. James Harden and Serge Ibaka scored 14 and 12 points, respectively, in defeat.
Oklahoma City missed an opportunity to move percentage points ahead of Chicago in the race for the NBA's top overall team. The Bulls, who lead the Eastern Conference, lost to Houston earlier Monday.
The Thunder had won three in a row over Memphis and were trying to sweep the Grizzlies in the four-game season series.
"It's tough to beat a team four times in a row," said Durant. "They came out and made plays. You have to give credit to those guys."
After a hard-fought first half, Gay and Gasol made baskets in succession early in the third to take back the lead after Thabo Sefolosha's trey gave the hosts a 44-42 halftime edge. Durant hit a turnaround jumper for a 46-46 tie before the visitors rolled off a 10-3 run to take control.
Trailing 75-66 early in the fourth, Westbrook made a driving layup to spur an 8-0 rally in favor of the Thunder that made it a one-point game, but they failed to get over the hump.
The Grizzlies built their lead back to nine with 3:15 to play, but Oklahoma City once again scored eight straight points as Memphis' advantage dwindled to 87-86 with 39.2 seconds remaining.
Then Mayo responded.
With the shot clock about to expire, Gasol found Mayo on the right wing, where he knocked down his first and only three-pointer of the game to make it 90-86 with under 20 seconds to play.
Westbrook made a pair from the free-throw line a bit later to pull within two, but Randolph and Allen each hit their own pairs to seal the victory.
"That was just outstanding defense by our group and outstanding rebounding by our group, and we just made enough shots and plays down the stretch to win the game," Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins said.
Grizzlies' starting point guard Mike Conley sat for the second consecutive game with a sprained ankle...Thunder shooting guard Daequan Cook was cleared to play after missing six games with a sprained knee, but did not see any action...Memphis had lost four of its last five at Oklahoma City entering Monday's contests.
- MEMPHIS: 94
OKLAHOMA CITY: 88
Apr 2 10:30 PM
- MEMPHIS: 94
OKLAHOMA CITY: 88
End of Regulation
Apr 2 10:29 PM
- MEMPHIS: 68
OKLAHOMA CITY: 64
End of 3rd
Apr 2 9:48 PM
- MEMPHIS: 42
OKLAHOMA CITY: 44
Apr 2 9:10 PM
- MEMPHIS: 21
OKLAHOMA CITY: 22
End of 1st
Apr 2 8:37 PM
- MEMPHIS: 0
OKLAHOMA CITY: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Apr 2 8:14 PM
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