Thunder Lose Heartbreaker To Memphis In Overtime

Wednesday, March 20th 2013, 11:09 pm
By: News 9

Despite a terrible shooting performance, it appeared Oklahoma City was going to be able to squeak out a brutally physical win on the road against the Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday night. Then Marc Gasol stole it right out of the Thunder's hands with a simple tip.

Gasol's tip-in off a Zach Randolph miss with 0.8 seconds remaining in overtime gave the Grizzlies a 90-89 win, pushing the Thunder to just 12-10 on the road since the beginning of 2013.

The Thunder had a 20-second timeout remaining after the Gasol basket, which could have advanced the ball past halfcourt and given the Thunder a chance at a game-winning shot, but coach Scoot Brooks chose not to call it. Instead, Russell Westbrook was left to heave a three-quarter court shot as the buzzer sounded.

OKC held an 83-80 lead in regulation with 9.9 seconds remaining, but Jerryd Bayless buried a game-tying 3-pointer with 3.7 seconds remaining after fooling Reggie Jackson with a pump-fake to generate a bit of space to launch the shot.

OKC had a chance to win in regulation, but Kevin Durant was unable to get a shot off, dribbling the ball off his leg and out of bounds as the clock hit zeroes.

Durant led the Thunder with 32 points while Westbrook chipped in with 20 points. Both OKC stars labored the entire game for points, combining to shoot 18-for-53 from the floor, including 1-for-10 from 3-point range.

Kevin Martin added 17 points off the bench, which played extremely well Wednesday night. OKC's bench outscored Memphis' 28-22, but also played excellent defense and provided energy throughout the game to help draw OKC out of several shooting slumps.

Mike Conley led the Grizzlies with 24 points while Bayless had 20 points off the bench. Gasol and Randolph each logged double-doubles, with Gasol going for 14 points and 15 rebounds and Randolph scoring 15 points and 18 rebounds.

However, Randolph was completely neutralized by the defense of Nick Collison in the second half, scoring just a single field goal with 5:09 remaining in the fourth quarter.

It was a rough and tumble game throughout, very physical and an eye sore for those looking for flowing offenses and high-scoring production. Oklahoma City shot a season-low 35.7 percent from the field, including just 2-of-18 from 3-point range. The Thunder also had a season-low nine assists.

Memphis wasn't much better, hitting 36 percent from the field, including a 6-for-23 performance from Randolph. The Grizzlies dominated Oklahoma City on the boards, collecting 19 offensive rebounds.

Oklahoma City came out flat, hitting just 2-of-14 shots to start the game. Any other night and the Thunder would have been blown out, but its defense and poor shooting from Memphis allowed the Thunder to hang around.

Martin provided a huge lift off the bench for OKC, scoring 10 points in the first half to keep OKC within striking distance. Randolph had his way with the Thunder in the first half, scoring 12 of his 15 points in the first two periods.

The back-and-forth play continued much of the second half, but a Westbrook jumper with 4:46 remaining gave the Thunder a 72-71 lead. OKC built it up to a six-point lead with 1:26 remaining on a Martin 3-pointer.

From there, the Grizzlies slowly chipped away before Bayless sent the game to overtime with his 3-pointer.