Maybe the Grizzlies had wished the Thunder had called a timeout before Durant scored a go-ahead bucket in transition. Perhaps they could have done things differently -- maybe Tony Allen could've helped.
"They earned it. Every time, every game is like that," Memphis coach Lionel Hollins told the media. "We had some plays we'd like to take back."
But defending Durant, who scored 12 of the final 18 Thunder points, left little to be desired. Tayshaun Prince got the assignment, and he was in front of Durant on most of the attempts. But Durant either shook off or pulled up to shoot over the lanky Memphis forward. For Hollins, it was hard to argue with how the Grizzlies defended the shots.
"You talk about whatever you want to talk about, but he made those shots," Hollins said. "Not everybody is making that shot at that particular point."
Reporters were quick to point out that Hollins only used Allen 21 minutes. None of them were spent with Allen guarding Durant. Hollins said that they scrapped any such thought heading into the postseason despite Allen's perimeter defense being one of the most aggressive in the NBA.
"Durant's a few years older," the Grizzlies coach said. "When we put him on him during the season, he just took him to the post. It causes us to help too much."
Entering the fourth quarter down by nine points, Oklahoma City used a 7-0 burst to tie the game with four minutes to play. Durant hit a shot over Prince to tie it at 84, and a minute later he again tied the game at 86. But Memphis led, 90-89, with 20 seconds left, before point guard Mike Conley was ripped by Derek Fisher.
Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said the team planned to only call a timeout if a big man got the rebound. Situationally, the Thunder liked the ball in Durant's hands and without the defense being able to get set, he pushed it up the court before draining the go-ahead bucket.
"We made a good defensive play," Durant said. "They have such great team defense, I just wanted to get up the court quickly and make the shot."
The Grizzlies turned it over once again after the big shot, and for that, Hollins could only look to Game 2.
"We played quicker and we were more in tune on defense," Hollins said of the second half. "We just weren't able to sustain in the fourth quarter."
Source: All quotes via NBA.com's live press conference stream.