Thunder, Grizzlies head back to OKC for huge Game 5
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies return to Chesapeake Energy Arena Tuesday night for a crucial Game 5 of their Western Conference quarterfinal matchup.
The Thunder knotted the series with a 92-89 overtime victory in Memphis Saturday night. It was the third overtime contest during the four games of this series.
"Now it's tied up 2-2," OKC head coach Scott Brooks said. "That means that we have to play with the same type of intensity on both ends of the floor in front of our home crowd, which are the best fans in the league."
The Grizzlies won Game 2 in Oklahoma City.
On Saturday, the Thunder's hero wasn't Kevin Durant, or Russell Westbrook. It wasn't even Serge Ibaka, rather top bench producer Reggie Jackson.
Jackson scored a playoff career-best 32 points, including eight in overtime, to lead the Thunder.
"We were struggling there in the fourth, and he just took it over," Durant said. "He was aggressive going to the rim all night. He just told himself before the game to be assertive. Defensively he was good. Offensively he attacked the defense and opened it up for everybody. We rolled all night. He made huge, huge plays and I'm so proud of him."
Durant had 15 points and 13 boards and Westbrook totaled 15 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, but the duo combined to shoot 11-of-45. Ibaka provided 12 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks for the second-seeded Thunder, who shot 36.7 percent.
Marc Gasol had 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Grizzlies, who had a chance to tie the game at the end but Mike Conley missed a 3-point shot. The seventh-seeded Grizzlies had a 15-game home winning streak broken.
Conley had 14 points and 10 assists, and Tony Allen ended with 14 points and 13 rebounds in defeat. Zach Randolph was limited to 11 points for the Grizzlies, who made 37.2 percent from the floor.
Memphis widened the gap to 80-75 following a Gasol jumper beyond the foul line with 1:20 left, but the Thunder scrapped to get the game to OT. Jackson drained a 3-ball with 59.2 seconds left, and Durant came up with a steal, which led to Jackson's floater in the lane to tie the game with 30.6 on the clock.
It was a wild finish to regulation. Gasol missed a foul-line jumper, and Allen got the offensive rebound, but Ibaka came up with the block under the hoop. Jackson then got the loose ball and had plenty of time to dribble down the court, but shot early well beyond half-court and the ball went out of bounds as time expired.
OKC used hustle plays to even this series with Jackson at the center of the effort. He dove for a loose ball on the floor with 1:08 left in OT. Durant then was fouled on a drive to the bucket and made two for an 88-87 edge for the Thunder with 62 seconds left.
Conley missed high off the glass, but he came back with a big steal. Westbrook missed a jumper, got his own rebound and tried to dribble the ball back out, but Conley stole the ball and called timeout with 30.9 on the clock.
Conley's jumper was then too strong and Jackson made two from the charity stripe with 12.2 seconds left. Conley then drove in for an uncontested layup with 3.8 seconds to go, but Jackson made two more foul shots less than a second later.
"I thought the little plays made the difference," said Memphis coach Dave Joerger. "I thought we had great chances to pull out the win. They made enough plays."
Game 6 is slated for Thursday night in Memphis.
04/29 10:31:22 ET