|Final - 12.11.2013||1||2||3||4||Total|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||25||32||32||27||116|
Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and the high-octane Thunder offense laid waste to the Grizzlies Wednesday night at the FedEx Forum. The two all-stars combined for 13-24 for the field and had 18 and 27 points respectively. Memphis' two best players, Mike Conley and Zach Randolph, carried as much of the load as they could, scoring 20 and 17 points respectively, but it was simply not enough as the Thunder routed them 116-100.
The first quarter started off nicely enough, with the Grizzlies leading by as many as five. Trailing 10-5, the Thunder went on a 16-1 run, kick-started by the officials failing to stop play on an obvious shot clock violation. The Grizzlies were clearly upset by the poor call, and instead of using that to fuel their shorthanded staff, they began to let the frustrations surface and the Thunder made them pay. Oklahoma City quickly got an and-one on a fast break, while the Grizzlies blew a 3-on-1 fast break of their own. Memphis went small, embarking on a 11-4 run to end the quarter to close to within three at 25-22 after one.
Both teams came out trading buckets in the second quarter, scoring seven total points in the first 50 seconds. After a 3-pointer from Mike Miller, the Grizzlies took a brief one-point lead. With 6:48 to play in the quarter, however, Jon Leuer picked up his third personal foul, and the Thunder began to take off. Aided by the free throw line and atrocious Memphis offense, Oklahoma City scored 21 points and seven of their last eight shots, outscoring the Grizzlies 32-20 in the quarter in rout to a 15-point halftime lead.
Coming out of halftime, it was the Russell Westbrook show. The Thunder point guard erupted for nine points in the first three minutes of the quarter, as Oklahoma City's lead would extend to as many as 24. The bright spot for Memphis was that Jerryd Bayless showed signs of life for the first time against a non-Celtic opponent, scoring eight points in the quarter. Memphis made a mini 10-2 run to end the quarter, but still trailed 89-73 heading into the final frame.
Despite their best efforts, Memphis faltered in the fourth, as the Thunder's lead was just insurmountable to the undermanned Grizzlies. Up by 15, OKC drilled three consecutive shots from beyond the arc to push their lead to 24.
Game Notes from the Legend-wait for it-Diary
- Scott Brooks is the loudest opposing coach we've faced all season.
- Tony Allen needs to wear a suit when he isn't playing. Every time I see him in warm-ups, I always assume he's just going to get too excited and run on in and play the game. He never does, and the Grizzlies sorely missed his defense tonight.
- Another productive game off the bench from Jon Leuer, aka the Pale Avenger, aka the Bright Knight, aka More Cowbell. He scored 17 points off the bench, but was woefully inefficient when he second-guessed himself. When he was open and pulled the trigger, he was just short of automatic, but too many times he overthought and dribbled and double clutched, and that is the opposite of what we need him to do.
- Credit the Memphis reserves. This game was over long before the final buzzer sounded, but no one in a Memphis jersey gave up.
- Jerryd Bayless was 0-2 from beyond the arc tonight, as he continues to struggle mightily with his shot.
I'm not sure you can be too upset with this game. The effort was their, and while execution was a struggle on both ends of the floor, the fact of the matter is this is a very talented Thunder team, and the Grizzlies are down four rotation players at the moment, and while you can' t complain about injuries too much, you certainly can't expect to compete with one of the best teams in the league when you are this short handed. Memphis heads out to New Orleans Friday night for a (much needed?) road game against the Pelicans.