|Final - 1.14.2014||1||2||3||4||Total|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||16||31||20||20||87|
The Grizzlies started off well, both the team and the crowd buzzing with energy at Marc Gasol's return to the lineup. Courtney Lee scored 10 of the Grizzlies' first 12 points en route to an early 12-7 lead. Love this guy! Marc Gasol was subbed out at about the 6:30 mark, seeming to move fine although perhaps a bit restricted by the large knee brace he sported. Buckets by Prince, Z-Bo and a nice putback from Ed Davis pushed the lead to 18-7 at the 5 minute mark. Lee finished with 14 points, 4 rebounds and a steal in a scintillating first quarter. Grizzlies were crushing OKC on the boards at this point too, 20-8, and it felt like they should be up by more than 8.
Calathes starts the quarter with his 2nd bad shooting foul in 10 seconds of game time, having finished OKC's last possession in the 1st quarter with one. Kosta Koufos followed it with an illegal screen and a 3 in the key, setting a record for most penalties by Greek players in 1 minute of regulation.* The Thunder started out on an 8-0 run to tie it at 24. Gasol's game showed rust in all areas except perhaps defense, as he's back directing traffic and affecting the lane as if he never missed a beat. The Thunder seemed to have momentum throughout the quarter, throwing punches and the Grizzlies trying to answer, the energy from Marc's return having waned from the 1st quarter. Defense was decent after the initial 8-0 run, but offense was raggedy throughout the quarter and it showed on the scoreboard. In a reversal of the 1st quarter, the Thunder beat the Grizzlies on the boards, 13-4. 47-43 Thunder at the half.
After a Reggie Jackson 3 to start the quarter, Mike Conley sparked a 7-0 run with 5 points of his own and a beautiful dropoff dime to an open Z-Bo, who was 3-13 at that point. Marc Gasol began to more like himself this quarter, attacking the basket, getting to the line, and passing well. The run eventually extended to 15-3 for a 57-53 Grizzlies lead, at which point Joerger started subbing in bench players, mixing and matching with starters. Ed Davis and James Johnson played with good energy off the bench and Calathes was solid. It was a back-and-forth rest of the quarter, ending with another Courtney Lee dagger at the buzzer to push the score to 72-67 Grizzlies and Lee's night to 22 on 9/14 shooting.
The 4th quarter started with a bench plus Conley lineup and a rim-rocking James Johnson dunk. Following that, the Thunder went on a 6-0 run to cut the lead to 1, 74-73, before a Conley 3 extended the lead to 4, 77-73. It was a slow, grinding, Grizzlies-style 4th quarter, highlighted by some now-expected highlight-reel James Johnson defensive plays - 2 steals and 2 blocks on the night, all but one block coming in the fourth quarter. Marc drew a crowd-pleasing charge on Durant, then drew a foul on the offensive end and made 1 of 2 to bring the lead to 84-78 with 4:10 left. At one point Gasol pulled down a tough rebound in traffic and limped up court, then limped back to the bench, then sat holding his injured knee. And Griz Nation sucked in a collective breath. Gasol turned in a big block and a board on the next defensive play, though. The Grizzlies ground this one out down the stretch with defense, rebounding, and taking care of the ball, winning 90-87.
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