The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

April 24, 2014

Grizzlies take 2-1 lead on OKC

MEMPHIS — Mike Conley scored five of his 20 points in overtime, and the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 98-95 Thursday night in taking a 2-1 lead in their first-round Western Conference series.

The Grizzlies won their second straight overtime game after blowing a fourth-quarter lead. This time, they led by 17 before going cold for most of the final 7:43 of regulation. Courtney Lee clinched the win, hitting three of four free throws in the final 10.9 seconds of OT.

Game 4 is Saturday night in Memphis.

NBA scoring champ Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook each scored 30 for the Thunder, who even got another four-point play in the final minute to force overtime. This time, it was Westbrook’s turn with 26.6 seconds left.

But Durant missed all eight 3-point attempts and was 10 of 27. Westbrook was 9 of 26. The Thunder hit only 3 of 12 overall in overtime.

Zach Randolph scored 16 points and had 10 rebounds for Memphis, which now has won 15 straight at home.

Tony Allen, who scored 16 points for Memphis, gave the Thunder one final chance at an improbable play to keep the game alive. After Lee split his free throws with 1.7 seconds left, Westbrook was racing up the right sideline trying to get a shot off before the buzzer.

Allen tripped Westbrook, sending him to the line for three attempts. Westbrook hit the first, missed the second and then clanked the third off the rim on purpose. But Ed Davis tipped away the ball to seal the win for Memphis.

Marc Gasol scored 14 points for Memphis. Beno Udrih added 12 points, and Lee finished with 10.

Serge Ibaka had 12 points for the Thunder, which went 5 of 28 beyond the arc.

The Thunder trailed 81-64 in the fourth quarter. Then they scored 17 straight with Westbrook’s 3-pointer in the left corner tying it up with 57.3 seconds left, and setting up yet another thrilling finish between these teams.

Memphis couldn’t protect its lead by going completely cold after a hook shot by Kosta Koufos with 7:43 left. The Grizzlies didn’t score again until Allen’s baseline dunk with 57.3 seconds to go. He then scored on a layup after stealing the ball from Westbrook for an 85-81 lead.

But Westbrook made up for his turnover on the next trip down the court. He hit a 3-pointer and dropped to the floor on a hard foul by Allen. His free throw tied it at 85 with 26.6 seconds left.

Memphis tried to hold for the late shot, but Conley’s one-handed layup clanked twice on the rim before rolling off. Durant’s 3-pointer for the win missed harmlessly off the backboard, sending these teams into their second straight overtime.

In overtime, the Thunder took their first lead since 9-8 on a three-point play by Durant for an 88-85 lead.

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