Memphis Grizzlies lose a grinder in Oklahoma City to the Thunder

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Grizzlies' six game win streak came to a screeching halt in a deafening Chesapeake Arena.


Final - 2.3.2014 1 2 3 4 Total
Memphis Grizzlies 18 18 25 16 77
Oklahoma City Thunder 20 31 18 17 86

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Welp, that was a vintage Grizzlies game, but not in a good way. After getting punched in the mouth in the first half, the Grizz came back to within three in the fourth quarter, but could not get over the hump in the final few minutes.

Summary

Memphis started an ice cold 1 of 7, including two bricked Calathes threes, but kept the score close and took a two point lead midway through the quarter on a 10-2 run. Joerger used a tight 5-man rotation in the quarter and the Grizzlies largely held OKC in check from outside, but surrendered 16 paint points. Zach Randolph sank right into his favorite Kendrick Perkins La-Z-Boy and sipped on 6 early points, but neither offense had it going yet. Calathes got a good look but could not convert the runner at the buzzer, and the Thunder led 20-18 after one.

Ed Davis, apparently having earned his blue belt in the Zach Randolph dojo, came out wearing a headband and joined an all-bench lineup with Johnson, Miller, Koufos, and Jamaal Franklin. The group held their own in the first part of the second quarter, overcoming Franklin's shaky play with solid defense. The Grizzlies held a fragile 32-31 until Durant reentered the game and led the Thunder to on a dominant 20-4 run down the stretch, taking a 51-36 halftime lead. The Grizzlies went more than six minutes without a field goal and Marc Gasol had almost no stats to his name in the first half.

Memphis started the third quarter well, getting a much needed bucket for Marc Gasol, forcing two turnovers, and cutting the lead to eight. The Grizzlies went on a 15-5 run in the first half of the quarter, running the offense through Gasol and Randolph and cutting the lead to 56-51. The Thunder held serve as the game got considerably more foul-y, dominating the offensive glass and holding a single-digit lead into the fourth.

The Grizz continued to chip away despite poor shooting games by Calathes, Gasol, Lee, and Prince (a combined 14 of 41), staying within striking distance thanks to a solid defensive effort. With 5:40 to go in the game, Gasol hit a jumper to cut it to 76-73. The Grizz could not get over the hump though, as Mike Miller missed a 3 and a reverse layup resulting in an 8-point swing. With a 10-point lead and under 3 minutes to play, the Thunder cruised to an 86-77 victory.

Gasol and Randolph led the Grizzlies with 13 apiece (Z-Bo added 13 rebounds). Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka carried the Thunder with a combined 52 points.

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