Thunder Vs. Grizzlies, Game 7: Kevin Durant Leads Oklahoma City In Closeout Rout

With Kevin Durant dropping 39 points, and Russell Westbrook tallying a triple-double, Oklahoma City cruised past Memphis to the Western Conference Finals.

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Thunder Vs. Grizzlies, Game 7 Final Score: Kevin Durant Leads Oklahoma City To Western Conference Finals

After a series marked by offensive inconsistency and much pop psychology about stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the Thunder routed the Grizzlies in Game 7 with a very simple formula: Durant and Westbrook, playing together.

Durant scored 39 points, and Westbrook had a triple-double, with 14 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists, as the Thunder walloped the Grizzlies, 105-90.

Durant and Westbrook both recovered from slow starts to make a game that Memphis led early into a laugher late. The Thunder outscored the Grizzlies in every quarter, withstanding a third quarter run by Memphis and dishing out a game-clinching run of their own, and no small part of that was Westbrook being able to find Durant with brilliant passes after the NBA scoring leader fought to find open space.

Memphis had no good way to check Durant, who is now averaging 40 points per game in playoff series-clinching wins, and no way to keep up with his offense. The Grizzlies shot poorly throughout Game 7, failing to even crack 40% for the game after a flurry of makes in garbage time.

With the victory, the Thunder move on to the Western Conference Finals, where the Mavericks await. Game 1 of that series is Tuesday in Dallas.

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.

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Thunder Vs. Grizzlies, Game 7 Score: Oklahoma City Up Big Entering Fourth Quarter After Surge

In the end, it seems like it's going to be just as the script said it should be for the Thunder: Kevin Durant is firing on all cylinders, and Oklahoma City is proving its worth in front of a raucous home crowd against the Grizzlies in Game 7 of their Western Conference Semifinals series.

A late 17-4 run by the Thunder, including two Durant threes, helped Oklahoma City build a 69-53 advantage, their biggest of Game 7, before the Grizzlies rallied to cut the Thunder's lead to 69-58. James Harden's three with under five seconds left, though, pushed Oklahoma City back up by two touchdowns, at 72-58, and leaves the young Grizzlies with a deep hole entering the final quarter of Game 7.

Durant has more than responded after a subpar Game 6, and has recovered from going two-for-nine from the field in the first quarter: he's eight-for-12 from the field since, and has 31 points.

But while Durant's been more aggressive and more effective on offense on his own, he also owes something to Russell Westbrook's decision-making and patience. Westbrook's facilitated offense rather than forcing it, and he's been a hellion on the boards, too. He's very close to a triple-double, and could well be the MVP of this game without scoring even 15 points.

Memphis, on the other hand, needs a rally, and quick. No Grizzly has more than 16 points, and no Memphis starter is shooting even 50% from the field. Someone must get hot, and soon, or the Grizzlies will be departing the NBA playoffs within the hour.

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.

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Thunder Vs. Grizzlies, Game 7 Score: Oklahoma City Leads At Half Behind Kevin Durant's Scoring

The worries about Kevin Durant not being able to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Western Conference Finals? Through one half, with the Thunder up 42-34 on the Grizzlies, it's safe to say that Oklahoma City's stringy scorer is on the way to dispelling them.

Durant's scoring has been Oklahoma City's constant in the franchise's first Game 7 since moving from Seattle. He has 18 points, leading all scorers, and has already eclipsed his scoring output in Game 6 of this series.

Russell Westbrook has added eight points for the Thunder, and James Harden has contributed five points off the bench.

Meanwhile, the Grizzlies have had problems getting any contributions on offense in Game 7. Zach Randolph has been bottled up by some savvy defense from Nick Collison — Mark Jackson dubbed it the "Jordin Sparks Defense," because Collison is allowing Randolph "No Air," to near-universal groaning from Twitter. Z-Bo, the fulcrum of Memphis' offense, made just three of eight shots in the first half. And Mike Conley, leading the Grizzlies with 11 points, made Memphis' first three of the game with just over one minute left in the second quarter.

If the Grizzlies can't figure out how to score, and soon, this Game 7 could be the

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.

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Thunder Vs. Grizzlies, Game 7 Score: Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook Give Oklahoma City Early Lead

Much has been made about how well Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook coexist during the Thunder's Western Conference Semifinals series against the Grizzlies. In the first quarter of Game 7, they've made things work.

Durant has eight points, leading all scorers, and Westbrook follows him closely with six. That scoring has helped the Thunder take a 21-17 lead on Memphis after one quarter in Oklahoma City.

Neither team has been hugely efficient on offense: both the Thunder and Grizzlies are shooting under 35% on the day, and Durant, despite his eight points, is shooting poorly, making just two of nine field goals.

In theory, poor jump shooting would seem to favor the grinding Grizzlies, whose stifling defense has given Oklahoma City fits throughout this series. But if the Thunder shoot poorly and Memphis shoots worse, that advantage may be null and void.

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.

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Thunder Vs. Grizzlies, Game 7: Kevin Durant, Zach Randolph Square Off With Western Conference Finals Trip At Stake

The Oklahoma City Thunder expected to be here. With a legit MVP candidate in Kevin Durant, a young All-Star point guard in Russell Westbrook and a solid cast of roleplayers up and down the roster, the Thunder expected before too long they'd be fighting for a chance to represent the West in the NBA Finals.

The Memphis Grizzlies, well they may have expected to be here. But no one else did. In the course of two years, Memphis went from a cheaply-run, cellar-dwelling loser to the rising prince of the league, one win away from the Western Conference Finals. It was just three years ago at which point team owner Michael Heisley was bragging that he could make money not by competing, but by using his cap space to make trades that luxury tax teams would lubricate with cash.

So here we are, the chosen ones against the question marks. The crown prince against the mystery suitor. Game 7 (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC) will decide which team moves on to face the Dallas Mavericks in the WCF, which begin Tuesday.

Kevin Durant had his worst playoff game ever in Game 6 in Memphis on Friday, scoring 11 points on 3-14 shooting. Shane Battier and Tony Allen gave Durant serious trouble, and he's struggled to shake their tight defense all series. Russell Westbrook had a strong outing with 27 points on 11-22 shooting, but once Memphis took control in the second half and KD couldn't spring loose, there was no chance for OKC.

Durant is shooting 43 percent for the series; Westbrook is at 42 percent. Like the Thunder stars, Memphis talisman Zach Randolph has been hot and cold; Z-Bo had 30 on 12-22 shooting in Game 6, but is shooting just 40.7 percent for the series.

So it comes down to which one gets hot in Game 7, perhaps. 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.

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