Grizzlies get win to tie series with Thunder
by Eric Prisbell, USA TODAY Sports
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — In a game that featured 27 lead changes and 12 ties, the Memphis Grizzlies found a way to stop Kevin Durant in the final two minutes and pull even in the best-of-seven series against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Durant was once again sensational, finishing with 36 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists. But in the final minute, with his team down four points, Durant stumbled near the three-point line and lost the ball.
And the Grizzlies held on for a 99-93 victory in Game 2 of this Western Conference second-round series at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Game 3 is Saturday in Memphis.
After making just 5 of 15 field goal attempts in Game 1, Memphis’ Mike Conley was outstanding, finishing with 26 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists. Conley’s 18-foot jump shot with just over one minute remaining put the Grizzlies up four points.
Marc Gasol, who made his first four field goal attempts in the game, scored 24 points.
Derek Fisher, who had a key steal and fourth-quarter baskets in Game 1, came off the bench to score 14 points in his first nine minutes for the Thunder. He finished with 19 points. Fisher made three three-point shots within a two-minute span in the second quarter to keep the Thunder narrowly in front.
On one possession, Durant shot faked, took one dribble inside three-point line and flipped a pass to the corner for Fisher, who buried his second three-point attempt in the game. Soon after, Fisher then buried a high arcing three-pointer over hand of Quincy Pondexter.
Memphis scored 30 of its first 56 points in the paint. And the Grizzlies took advantage of sloppy play by the Thunder throughout the first half. At one point in the second quarter, the Thunder had as many turnovers (six) as made field goals.
But in the final seconds of the third quarter, Durant threw down a resounding dunk and drew the foul. Amid chants of “M-V-P,” Durant made the ensuing free throw, giving the Thunder a five-point advantage that appeared like a significant lead in a game that was tight throughout.