The Oklahoma City Thunder had a double-digit lead late in Game 3 against the Memphis Grizzlies, and with it a chance to rip home court advantage back from the Grizz and hand Memphis its first home loss in the NBA Playoffs. Instead, the Grizzlies ripped the game from the Thunder, executing a graceful if careening comeback that resulted in overtime and, eventually, a win.
With a 2-1 series lead, Memphis has a chance to send the chosen Thunder into desperation. With a win in Game 4 on Monday (9:30 p.m. ET, TNT), the Grizzlies would have a commanding 3-1 lead and three opportunities to finish off Oklahoma City. It's exactly what the Grizzlies did to the San Antonio Spurs: take Game 1 on the road, win both at home and give yourself three opportunities to clinch.
It sounds so easy when laid out like that, and nothing about this season has been easy for either team. OKC was able to prevent all-out war from Zach Randolph in Game 3, but it came at the cost of a big afternoon for O.J. Mayo. Memphis had found itself balancing its defense and, frankly, playing with fire: Mayo guarded Russell Westbrook through much of the fourth quarter in Game 3, and it worked. That's a surprise. It could have gone the other direction, and OKC could have closed out the victory.
But it worked, as has so much of what Lionel Hollins has tried this postseason. We'll see if the Thunder can fight back in Game 4. Be sure to check out our Thunder vs. Grizzlies hub for full series coverage. For more on the Thunder, visit Welcome To Loud City. For more on the Grizzlies, visit Straight Outta Vancouver.