Mark that one down as a missed opportunity.
Oklahoma City had a five-point lead heading into the fourth quarter but was unable to hold off Memphis, falling 99-93 at Chesapeake Energy Arena as the Grizzlies knotted up this Western Conference semifinal series 1-1.
Kevin Durant turned in another outstanding performance, finishing one assist away from a triple-double with 36 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. But KD couldn't get the help he needed down the stretch.
5/8/2013 RELATED STORY: The Thunder's Big Problem
Durant's final basket came with 3:17 remaining in the game on a three-point play to take an 88-86 lead. Then the Grizzlies locked in on the Thunder superstar and nobody else from OKC was able to step up.
In the final 3:17, the Thunder scored only one more basket and that was a Derek Fisher 3-pointer as time expired when the loss was already guaranteed.
Memphis point guard Mike Conley hit a 3-pointer with 1:58 remaining to put Memphis ahead for good and he stretched it out to a two-possession game at the one-minute mark with an 18-foot jumper to wrap up a stellar performance.
Conley, just like Durant, was one assist away from a triple-double with 26 points, 10 rebounds and nine dimes. Marc Gasol has 24 points, five rebounds and five assists for Memphis, while Zach Randolph had 15 points and eight boards.
OKC got a huge boost off the bench from Fisher, who scored 19 points – 14 in the first half – on 6-of-9 shooting and he was 4-of-5 from 3-point range. But he provided the only help from the second unit.
The rest of the bench totaled just six points, all of which came from Kevin Martin. Martin struggled all night, as he couldn't shake the lockdown defense served up by former OSU standout Tony Allen, connecting on just 2-of-11 shots. Nick Collison and Hasheem Thabeet combined for zero points in 28 minutes; Collison was also held without a rebound, had four turnovers and fouled out.
Reggie Jackson and Serge Ibaka were the only other two Thunder players to reach double figures with 11 and 10, respectively.
Oklahoma City out-shot Memphis in every category: 42.9 percent to 41.9 percent from the floor, 37.5 percent to 26.7 percent from 3, and 88.9 percent to 71.9 percent from the foul line but the Grizzlies dominated every other statistical category to earn the victory at the Peake.
Memphis outrebounded the Thunder 43-35 and had a whopping 16 offensive boards. The Grizzlies forced 19 Thunder turnovers and committed just 10. They 13 steals to OKC's 3, 22 assists to the Thunder's 17, beat OKC 18-7 in fast-break points, and outscored the Thunder 50-30 in the paint.
Game 3 is scheduled for a 4 p.m. start on Saturday in Memphis.