THE FACTS: Thunder All-Star Kevin Durant hit six of Oklahoma City's last seven baskets and scored a game-high 35 points in leading the Thunder to a thrilling 93-91 win over the Memphis Grizzlies and a 1-0 lead in their Western Conference semi-final matchup.
Durant also grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds, handed out six assists and blocked two shots. Thunder sixth man Kevin Martin had another big game with 25 points and seven rebounds; he also blocked a shot late in the game. Point guard Reggie Jackson was the only other Thunder player in double figures, scoring 12 points.
Grizzlies big men Marc Gasol (20 points) and Zach Randolph (18 points) combined to score 38 and each pulled down 10 rebounds. But they and the rest of their Grizzly teammates weren't as effective as they usually are on the offensive glass against Oklahoma City. Memphis managed only eight offensive rebounds, less than half their average during three regular season games against OKC. Point guard Mike Conley finished with 13 points but was just 5-for-15 shooting.
Neither team shot the ball well, Memphis hit 42.7 percent and OKC a shade worse at 41.3. As expected it was a knock-down, drag-out, physical game that once again came down to the final seconds.
QUOTABLE: "Nice to get the first win, our guys did a lot of good things out there. I'm proud of our effort, we came in and battled. Our defensive disposition was where it needed to be going into the fourth quarter. You have to earn every inch of the court. That's what this series is gonna be about."
--Thunder head coach Scott Brooks.
THE STAT: In the fourth quarter the Grizzlies shot just 33.3 percent on 6-for-18 shooting overall and 0-for-2 on threes. Durant hit as many field goals himself in that fourth quarter going 6-for-9 and scoring 12 points. He also grabbed four rebounds, handed out three assists, blocked a shot and stole the ball once in the fourth quarter. In the final 7:30 of the game Durant outscored Memphis 12-10, shooting 6-for-8, while the Grizzlies shot 2-for-12.
TURNING POINT: Thunder guard Derek Fisher stole the ball with 17.9 seconds to play and got the ball to Durant. Instead of calling a timeout to set up a play Durant pushed the ball up the floor and hit a 19-foot jumper to give Oklahoma City a lead they would not relinquish.
QUOTABLE II: "They earned it, they earned it. We had some plays we'd like to have back. We had some opportunities we just didn't execute and Durant made some big plays. We just weren't able to sustain in the fourth quarter."
-- Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins.
QUOTABLE III: "We had to push the ball, we just kept fighting and we did a good job of being resilient. We knew what we had to do and we came out and did it."
HOT: Gasol was 4-for-6 at halftime...Martin was 5-for-9...Durant finished 13-for-26 and 9-for-10 at the free throw line.
NOT: The Thunder missed their first 10 shots but only trailed 7-2...Memphis was 3-for-9 (33.3 percent) during that time...Serge Ibaka started 0-for-5 and Durant 1-for-6...OKC finished the first quarter shooting just 21.7 percent (5-for-23), Memphis wasn't much better at 30.4 percent (7-for-23)...Ibaka was 0-for-7 at halftime and finished 1-for-10 (5 points).
INSIDE THE ARENA: The 111th consecutive sell-out inside Chesapeake Energy Arena. NBA "superfan" Jimmy Goldstein sat courtside. Injured Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook, not able to sit near the team's bench, watched the game from a suite.
GOOD MOVE: In three regular season games Memphis grabbed an average of 17.3 offensive rebounds per game and scored 18 second chance points. It was a point of emphasis for the Thunder going into this series and in the first half OKC held Memphis to just two offensive rebounds and zero second chance points. For the game the Grizzlies finished with eight offensive rebounds four second chance points.
BAD MOVE: Thunder defense did not close out on Jerryd Bayless, instead daring him to shoot from way out on the perimeter. During his first 10 minutes of playing time Bayless took advantage by scoring 10 points on 4-for-5 shooting overall and 2-for-3 on threes. The Thunder remedied that in the second half as Bayless was 0-for-2 with zero points.
NOTABLE: Durant is the third player in the last five postseasons with at least 35 points, 15 rebounds and five assists. (Carmelo Anthony & LeBron James).
UP NEXT: Game Two, Tuesday @ Oklahoma City; Game Three, Saturday @ Memphis; Game Four, TBA @ Memphis