Gasol scores 20, Grizzlies beat Thunder
by Sean Highkin, USA TODAY Sports
Zach Randolph had an off night. So did Mike Conley and Tayshaun Prince. The Memphis Grizzlies rode Tony Allen in the first half and Marc Gasol in the second half to pull out an 87-80 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder and take a 2-1 series lead in the Western Conference semifinals.
In the low-scoring first quarter, Memphis’ defense denied Oklahoma City of opportunities at the basket, but the Thunder kept it close by taking advantage of a 5-2 turnover discrepancy in the quarter.
After missing the final nine minutes of the first half due to foul trouble, Gasol was spectacular the second half, scoring 12 of his 20 points in the third quarter and neutralizing Kevin Durant at the rim. Durant ended the night with 25 points on 9-of-19 shooting.
A three-pointer by Thunder guard Derek Fisher tied the score at 81 with a minute remaining in the fourth quarter, but two Gasol free throws—and two Durant misses at the line—sealed the game for Memphis.
Durant wasn’t the only Thunder scorer who struggled to knock down shots. Serge Ibaka and Kevin Martin each scored 13 points on 6-of-17 shooting, and Oklahoma City shot 36.4% from the field and 27.8% from three-point range as a team.
The Grizzlies lead the series 2-1 after the win. Game 4 is scheduled for Monday at 9:30 p.m. Eastern time in Memphis, and will air on TNT.