Grizzlies maul Thunder to even NBA series
|Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (R) shoots against Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph (50) as Thunder player Kevin Perkins (lower L), and Serge Ibaka of Congo, (lower C) and Grizzlies center Marc Gasol of Spain, (lower R) watch on in the first half of their Game 2 NBA Western Conference semi-final playoff basketball game in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma May 7, 2013. Photo by Bill Waugh, Reuters.|
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma - (UPDATE 1) Mike Conley had a go-ahead three pointer down the stretch as Memphis went on a 10-3 run to close the game and beat Oklahoma City 99-93 in game two of their NBA playoff series.
Conley, who finished one assist short of a triple double, drained a clutch shot from beyond the arc with 1:58 left in the fourth for the Grizzlies, who levelled the best-of-seven series at 1-1.
"That was huge. We needed one," Conley said. "We just wanted to steal one and go back to the grind house. We feel really comfortable there so hopefully this will turn the series around."
The series now shifts to Memphis for game three Saturday night.
Conley had 26 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in Tuesday's contest in front of a crowd of 18,203 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
"This team goes as I go," Conley said. "If I play well, the other guys seem to play well so I just try my best to play aggressive and be assertive early and it really worked."
Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph finished with 24 and 15 points, respectively, for Memphis who dominated 23-6 on second-chance points. The Grizzlies also scored 20 more points in the paint in a game that featured 27 lead changes.
Like Conley, Thunder star Kevin Durant also nearly had a triple-double, compiling 36 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.
Derek Fisher scored 19 points and Kevin Martin was limited to six points on just two-of-11 shooting after scoring 25 points in each of the last two games for Oklahoma City.
"We were fortunate to get the win," said Memphis coach Lionel Hollins.
With under two minutes left, the Grizzlies took a 92-90 lead when Gasol passed to Conley for an open three-pointer.
Durant shot long on a three-point attempt from the left side and then the combination of Gasol and Conley connected again. Conley hit an 18-footer with just over one minute left after Gasol set a pick for him at the top of the key.
Durant turned the ball over and missed from long range on the next two Oklahoma City possessions to end any chance of a Thunder rally down the stretch.
"We had good poise defensively," Conley said. "We started to get stops.
"Our poise under pressure and our ability to execute at the end of the game really helped us tonight."
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