Thunder choke away Game 4 vs. Grizzlies
by Adi Joseph, USA TODAY Sports
For a half, Kevin Durant was back to making three-pointers and Serge Ibaka was back to playing offense and the Oklahoma City Thunder were back to looking like the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
But this has been the Memphis Grizzlies’ series, and they staggered back from a 17-point deficit to their first lead in a span of less than 16 minutes, then made the big plays down the stretch. The Grizzlies won Game 4 of their second-round NBA playoff series 103-97 in overtime, taking a 3-1 series lead and asserting themselves as the new West favorites.
Memphis took its first lead in the final minute of the third quarter, and the fourth was a tug of war. And the strongest man pulled hardest. Zach Randolph had nine points, three rebounds and a key strip of Durant in the fourth quarter. He and Marc Gasol each split pairs of free throws in the final minute to give Memphis a two-point lead with 10.9 seconds left.
Durant then tied it at 94 with 6.4 seconds left on a scoop shot. And Randolph had the ball in his hands with a chance to end it but was blocked by Thunder center Kendrick Perkins on a fadeaway jumper from the elbow before regulation’s end.
Randolph made up for it early in overtime, with his putback giving the Grizzlies their first four-point lead of the game. Veteran Thunder guard Derek Fisher made a three-pointer, his only basket of the game, to cut the deficit to 98-97. Durant slipped on a shot attempt, and the Grizzlies then answered with a Gasol jumper to make it 100-97 with 22.8 seconds left.
Fisher then threw away an inbound pass, forcing the Thunder to foul thief Tony Allen, then Gasol on the ensuing Grizzlies inbound. He made one, but Durant missed a three after making five of his previous six. Tayshaun Prince was sent to the free throw line with 10.0 seconds left and made both to seal it 103-97, Memphis’ biggest lead of the night.
Durant, who went 2-for-13 in the fourth quarter and overtime, missed a layup. The Grizzlies rebounded … [For more on Kevin Durant, Thunder choke away Game 4 vs. Grizzlies, click here.]