It wasn’t one of their prettiest efforts of the postseason, but the Memphis Grizzlies are now one game away from the Western Conference Finals. Despite trailing for most of the first three quarters, Memphis was able to steal a 103-97 overtime victory Monday night and take a commanding 3-1 lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
While Oklahoma City jumped out to an early lead, Memphis had control of the game late. They made key plays in the fourth quarter and overtime to seal the victory in the extra period. The biggest bucket of the evening was by Marc Gasol, who hit a jumper at the top of the key to put the Grizzlies up 100-97 with just 22 seconds to go, giving Memphis a lead they'd never relinquish. Tony Allen stole the subsequent inbound pass, and three free throws later, Memphis had their third straight victory in this series.
The final minute of overtime capped a frenetic game, which saw a wild final few minutes of regulation as well.
With the score tied at 92 apiece in the fourth quarter, Memphis was helped with some timely second-chance shots, getting three offensive rebounds in the final 1:10. However, the Grizzlies were only able to muster 2-for-4 shooting from the free throw line off those extra possessions, which opened the door for Kevin Durant to tie the game up with a runner in the lane with just six seconds to go. A Zach Randolph shot was tipped at the buzzer to send the game into an extra session.
Despite the missed shot at the buzzer, Randolph’s strong play late allowed the Grizzlies to even be in position to win. Randolph scored 23 points for Memphis, including 11 in the fourth quarter and overtime to go along with 12 rebounds and three assists. Gasol added 23 points and 10 rebounds, while Mike Conley contributed 24 points on 4-for-10 shooting from beyond the arc.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma City missed a golden chance to steal a win on the road, in a game which they outshot Memphis from the field (43 percent to 40.4) and outrebounded the Grizzlies by 44-41.
Durant led Oklahoma City with a game-high 27 points, but struggled down the stretch, shooting just 2-for-13 from the field in the fourth quarter and overtime. The Thunder got solid play from everyone else on the court. Kevin Martin finished with 18 points off the bench, Serge Ibaka had 17 points and 14 rebounds and Reggie Jackson notched double figures for his eighth-straight playoff game with 15 points, yet it wasn’t enough to hold on in the end.
This series will now shift back to Oklahoma City for Game 5 on Wednesday night, with the Thunder one game away from elimination.