The first half of this game looked like the Thunder were determined to tie this series. Oklahoma City had Memphis playing passive basketball, while Serge Ibaka was reborn on the offensive end. He was making shots inside and out, a rarity in this series. The Thunder even held a 17-point during the second quarter.
The end of the first half, though, gave you the sense that Memphis was getting back to 'Grindhouse' basketball. The game from that point on was a clinic, especially on the defensive end.
The Grizz defense on Durant late was as good as there is. They forced him numerous times into help, resulting in a bad shot or turnover. Kevin was, however, able to tie the game at 94 with seconds left in regulation. Randolph was then stopped on the final possession, giving Grizz players and fans deja vu of 2011...when they lost Game 4 vs OKC, at home, in triple overtime.
Memphis continued their solid defense on Durant in overtime, holding him scoreless while also contesting the role players. Kevin, who needed 27 shots to get his 27 points, was again shaky late. He slipped at the right elbow twice on crucial drives. Hopefully, the floor back home will be much dryer for KD. Derek Fisher had a crucial turnover late, down four. He inbounded the ball to Tony Allen instead of Kevin Martin.....awkward.
Final score: 103-97.
Lionel Hollins summed up the second half and overtime well: "I don't know who came up with it, but it's 'grit n grind'....we just go out there and battle, we compete."
The Grizzlies were led by their new Big Three. Marc Gasol, who's 3rd quarter was key last game, had 23 points and 12 rebounds. Mike Conley led the way with 24, while Zach Randolph had 23 & 12.
After four games, there have been 62 lead changes and 40 ties in this series.
Expect more of the same in Game 5.