Outside FedexForum Thursday night, thunderstorms took over for about an hour. Inside FedexForum, the Thunder stormed for about 8 minutes. Though some technical difficulties hindered the production inside, ultimately, the Grizzlies stood firm and secured their 15th consecutive home win, 98-95 in the second straight overtime game in the series.
The crowd was Rowdy. There was “whoop that trick” and “turn down for what” played from FedexForum speakers. Jerry “The King” Lawler made a double appearance. Bongo Lady ferociously beat the bongos. Kings of the Court made some high flying dunks. The Barkays (well 2 of them) sang the national anthem. The halftime show featured Tag Team’s “Whoomp There It Is.” Just another playoff game in Memphis. If you weren’t there, I can’t help you relive it, however I can recap it.
As I usually do, let’s recap this game, by the numbers (playoff style):
20.6- Grizzlies NetRtg, 93.6 ORtg, 73.0 DRtg
45- Grizzlies FG% (9-20)
35- Thunder FG% (7-20)
100.56- PACE- more along the Thunder’s preference. Grizzlies beat them at their own game.
+7- Koufos after Gasol picked up his 2nd foul with 6:13 to go in the 1st
-6- Thunder playing “small ball” in the first quarter with Durant as the 4
13.9- Grizzlies NetRtg, 100.6 ORtg, 86.7 DRtg
39%- Grizzlies & Thunder FG%- MEM (9/23) OKC (7/18)
81.28- PACE- clearly the Grizzlies pace. Memphis beat OKC at its preferred pace too.
14- points scored by Tony Allen & Beno Udrih in the quarter on 6/7 shooting from the field.
10- points scored by Kevin Durant & Russ Westbrook in the quarter on 3/7 shooting from the field.
5.4- Grizzlies NetRtg, 120.3 ORtg, 114.9 DRtg
87.04- PACE- again, the Grizzlies pace, but the Grizzlies let up defensively
52%- Grizzlies FG (12/23)
48%- Thunder FG (10/21)
17- the largest lead of the game with 2:47 remaining in the quarter
-46.30- Grizzlies NetRtg, 60.9 ORtg, 107.1 DRtg
90.8- PACE- still favoring the Grizzlies, but this time their lack of production nearly cost them a win
7:00- straight minutes with out scoring after being up 81-64 with 7:44 to go
13- FT differential favoring the Thunder in the 2nd half. OKC- 11/14 MEM- 1/1
49- double doubles this year for ZBO (16/10) tonight
48.9- Grizzlies NetRtg, 134.9 ORtg, 85.9 DRtg
102.4- PACE- Thunder’s pace, Grizzlies win it
6- overtime wins for the Grizzlies vs OKC in 7 games since 2010
3- fouls on a 3 point shooter in the entire game, including once at the end of Overtime
17- fastbreak points for the Thunder (4/11 FG) Thunder had 32 in the first game, 33 in games 2/3 combined
22- Grizzlies points off 16 Thunder turnovers
9- Thunder points off 15 Grizzlies turnovers
14- differential in Points in the Paint (MEM: 62 OKC: 48)
25- more bench points from the Grizzlies (34) than Thunder (9)
18,119- 18th consecutive Playoff sell-out at home for the Grizzlies
POST GAME TAKEAWAYS:
1) Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook cannot do this alone. They have no help from their bench in games 2 & 3 after the Thunder media declared its bench better than Memphis’.
2) ZBO ISOs cannot be the way of the future. I realize the Grizzlies won, but during the 17-0 Thunder run, Zach Randolph tried on at least 3 possessions to make a move on Kendrick Perkins and either came up empty, or turned the ball over. Fortunately for the Grizzlies, the Thunder are not as disciplined as the Spurs and can only shut down ZBO, Conley and Gasol.
3) Conley got a great chance to lay it in towards the end of regulation with 3 secs left, but it just didn’t fall. He clearly has earned his nickname #clutchConley this season and tonight was no different. He nailed a 3 (seems like we haven’t said that in a while) to put the Grizzlies up 2 in OT, at which point they would not relinquish the lead.
4) The Thunder will only make it as far as Kevin Durant takes them. However, with Russell Westbrook taking 26 shots & KD 27, the Grizzlies ended up winning another one, in spite of poor play down the stretch. It’s never easy with these guys. They just like to excel and keep the pressure on in close games.
5) Tony Allen is the Grindfather. He grinds things to a halt on both ends of the floor. Yet also provides the ultimate heart palpitations for Grizz fans. His aggressiveness on defense plays into opposing players’ hands at times and they use it to receive calls. Thursday night, Westbrook used it twice to draw a 3 point foul. Once he made the 3 and got one more, converting it into a 4- point play, the Grizzlies 2nd straight surrendered 4-point play in the final minute in as many games. Both ended up sending the game into overtime.
6) Perkins sat on Mike Miller. That really happened. They collided, Miller fell down, Perk was on top of him, then just sat on him & didn’t attempt to get up for about 4 seconds.
7) BE-NO, BE-NO, BE-NO! I knew the guy could shoot, but his defense & court vision has impressed me beyond what I considered him capable of producing with limited opportunities to mesh with a rotation, however for a moment there, he and Allen had 18 straight points for the Grizzlies covering the span of the end of the 1st quarter to the mid second quarter.
8) Kosta Koufos received significant amount of minutes tonight and was tremendous. He finished the game with the best +/- of any Grizzlies player, +9.
9) Mike Miller is due for a big game. He was 0-3 thursday night, following up performances in games 1 & 2 of 1-6 & 3-6. That would be 4-15 for the series with 12 points. It just feels like game 4 needs to be his breakout game in order for the Grizzlies to deliver a knock out blow to the Thunder. Let It Fly, Mike, Let It FLY.
10) Joerger has out coached Scott Brooks for 5 consecutive halves and 2 overtimes. He’s made adjustments, played the guys who will help you win games and relaxed a little on his stubbornness we saw in the regular season. Brooks seems like a really nice guy, however, he also comes across as a push-over and at times, clueless. Joerger on the other hand fits the grittiness of Memphis. He’s stubborn, direct, not afraid to be abrasive, but very pleasant and hospitable. It really is a clash of styles not just from the team, but the organization as well. I think Joerger has done one heck of a job. The entire organization has this season. I don’t expect the Grizzlies to be named the “#1 Franchise in Sports” again, but I think they’ve done a fantastic job this year & deserve credit and praise for keeping this team and fan support at a high level.
This series is far from over as we witnessed in 2011. However, being up 2-1, OKC knows they must win game 4 or else, this series may truly then be over. I predicted a Grizzlies series win in 6. I will stick with that. For now, rest up Grizz Nation, a late 8:30p tip awaits just around the corner Saturday evening. I expect you to be rowdy.
Follow me on Twitter to keep up with all your playoff data & info! Have a data or series question? Feel free to ask. I don’t bite.
My gosh, Russ & KD had 30 points each & were 19-53, 36%, 4-21 from 3, 19%. That's incredible. 60 points off 19 made FG.
— Zach Thomas (@zacharytthomas) April 25, 2014