After taking a four-point lead into the second quarter, the Grizzlies opened up a 10-point lead at the start of the frame. But Durant helped Oklahoma City roar back, and the Thunder wound up taking the lead right at the end of the half.
Ethan Rothstein looked at three key questions heading into Game 3.
What will Kevin Martin do?
Martin knocked down his first shot of the game, a three, but then missed his next four shots. He forced the issue when leading the second unit with Durant off the floor, but he simply was not able to get his shots to fall. Martin did finish the half with a flurry, and he has nine points on 4-of-9 shooting.
Can Scott Brooks adjust his offense?
The Thunder offense really struggled out of the gate, shooting 7-of-22 in the first quarter. They had some moderate success in transition, but many of their possessions in the half court were a real chore. Durant was great as usual, and Jackson showed some aggression, but the other starters provided very little. Ibaka missed two dunks in the first half and several other great looks. However, things did improve in the second quarter when the Thunder made their run.
One of the possible adjustments Rothstein mentioned was less Kendrick Perkins, but he remained in the starting lineup and continued to be a detriment to the offense by bricking a couple of wide open looks. Luckily, he did not see the floor again the rest of the half. Rothstein also suggested a small ball lineup of Jackson-Martin-Sefolosha-Durant-Ibaka, which was the unit that helped get the Thunder the lead.
Can Mike Conley take advantage of Reggie Jackson?
Brooks started Thabo Sefolosha on Conley in an attempt to slow down the Grizzlies point guard after his huge Game 2. The decision worked out pretty well, as Conley only had two points, two assists and two turnovers in the first quarter. Conley finished the half with seven points and three assists, so his production is pretty even with Jackson's.
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