Big Game Hunting: Thunder Drops Grizzlies In Game 1

Sunday, April 20th 2014, 12:26 am
By: News 9

Some were concerned with the Thunder's recent level of intensity and focus. Many questioned whether this team was playing well enough as it entered the playoffs.

No need to worry, Game 1 belongs to the home team.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 56 points as the Thunder took down Memphis 100-86 on Saturday night.

The Thunder ran out to a 14-2 start, bringing the blue-clad Chesapeake Arena crowd to its feet. Oklahoma City took a 29-16 lead after the first and extended it in the second.

The Thunder continues to dominate, and with six seconds left in the half, Durant dropped a 15-footer to put OKC up by a whopping 25 points. James Johnson answered with a 3-pointer with two seconds left to bring Memphis within 56-34 at the half.

Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 33 first-half points, just one fewer than the entire Grizzlies' team.

All signs were pointing toward a Game-1 cruise, but Memphis had other ideas.

The Grizzlies outscored Memphis 31-13 in the third quarter and got within two points on a Mike Miller 3-ball early in the fourth. What was once a blowout became a tight battle, and the Thunder fans could hardly believe what they were watching.

The Thunder immediately responded with six quick points, and before you knew it, the lead was right back to double digits.

Despite being outscored by 18 in the third quarter, Oklahoma City held an 87-55 advantage through the rest of the game. 

Durant led the way with 33 points and eight rebounds, while Westbrook added 23 points and 10 rebounds.  Serge Ibaka added 17 and nine boards, while Reggie Jackson chipped in nine and eight boards off the bench. 

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Caron Butler also scored nine points, including a monster dunk in the fourth quarter to give the Thunder an extra boost. 

Zach Randolph led Memphis with 21 points and 11 boards, but shot just 7-21.  Mike Conley added 16 points and 11 assists while Marc Gasol chipped in 16 and six boards. 

The Thunder improved to 4-0 this season against the Grizzlies with Westbrook in the lineup.

Game 2 is Monday night at 7 p.m. at Chesapeake Arena.