Grizzlies rally to rock ThunderDec 11, 2008 - 6:16 AM OKLAHOMA CITY (Ticker) -- After a severe drought, there was a Thunder storm on Wednesday. And just as fast, like a deluge, it was gone - and so was victory.
The Memphis Grizzlies overcame a 21-point deficit in the second quarter to deal the Oklahoma City Thunder a crushing 108-102 defeat.
Leading, 31-25, the Thunder went on a 20-5 burst to take a 51-30 lead. The Grizzlies came to and closed the half with an 18-4 run to make it a game.
The teams played an even third quarter, each scoring 28 points, before the Grizzlies surged to victory with a 32-19 advantage in the final 12 minutes to drop the Thunder to 2-21.
"I think the first group of guys came out in the third quarter and took what happened to us in the first half personally," said Mike Conley Jr., who directed the comeback. "We got down 21 and weren't playing our brand of basketball, but we came out and really set the tempo for the rest of the night.
"We made it a point to get to the basket, get to the free-throw line and convert. We knew if we didn't do that we weren't going to win."
The Thunder actually were within 99-98 after Russell Westbrook made a pair of free throws. Memphis finished with a flourish, however, closing the game with a 9-4 run.
Conley scored five of the points. Greg Buckner added a jumper and fed Rudy Gay for another bucket. Oklahoma City only countered with a jumper by Kevin Durant and a layup by Westbrook in the final seconds when the outcome had already been decided.
"We just came out here and played team ball, it was easy to do what we wanted in the fourth quarter," Gay said. "We got people open and move the ball around well, it was fun."
Gay scored 22 points to lead Memphis. Conley scored 14 of his 16 points in the final quarter. O.J. Mayo netted 18 points despite sitting out the fourth quarter.
"It's all about energy and it's what you feel out there," Grizzlies coach Marc Iavaroni said about his fourth-quarter strategy. "And the guys on this team are mature enough to know that I am not keeping guys off the court as I am keeping people on the court who are playing hard and smart together, and I'll ride it as long as I can or until it needs a change."
Durant scored 28 points as the Thunder fell despite putting six players in double figures. Westbrook scored 15 points and Green chipped in with 13.
Durant left after the game without speaking to reporters.
The Thunder shot 51 percent (37-of-72) from the floor and hit 24-of-30 free throws. Memphis canned 48 percent from the floor (38-of-79) and 26-of-33 from the line.
"We are right there," Westbrook said. "Last couple of games, we've been close, we've had chances to win games and we can't get it done. We aren't hitting the shots we need, we aren't getting stops, and we really can't catch a break when we really need one."
Nick Collison spoke of the suffering.
"This is the most miserable season I've ever been a part of," he said. "It's tough, but hopefully we can start winning and get something positive going.
"... We outshoot them, outrebound them, and we got to the free-throw line, and we still lose. I wish it was one thing we could pinpoint as the problem, but we can't seem to figure it out."
OKLAHOMA CITY 102 FINAL
Dec 10 10:33 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY 83 END, 3RD QTR
Dec 10 9:54 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY 55 HALFTIME
Dec 10 9:09 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY 29 END, 1ST QTR
Dec 10 8:37 PM
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