With their backs against the wall on Friday night, the Memphis Grizzlies turned to Zach Randolph, as they've done many times before. Memphis trailed the Oklahoma City Thunder by 10 at halftime, and only Randolph was in double-figures, with 10 points himself. But in the second half, facing elimination and fighting an uphill battle, Randolph took over as the Grizzlies not only caught the Thunder over the final 24 minutes, but easily pulled away in a 95-83 win.
Randolph scored 20 points in the second half, pushing his total to 30 for the game, as the Grizzlies outscored the Thunder over the final 24 minutes, 51-29. It was as if a different team emerged from the locker room in the third quarter and it showed on the scoreline. And Randolph played a large role, dominating the paint and the glass, adding a game-high 13 rebounds to go with his 30 points.
When it was all said and done, the Grizzlies had forced Game 7 and landed a significant body-blow as the Thunder went in for the kill. And with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook struggling to find their roles, Oklahoma City looks as vulnerable as ever heading into the seventh, and final, game of the series. Memphis may be the underdog, but Randolph and the Grizzlies seized momentum and are one game away from knocking off another giant in the 2011 NBA playoffs.
The Grizzlies and Thunder take the court for Game 7 on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. in Oklahoma City.