Two semifinals series started up on Sunday, with the Oklahoma City Thunder barely edging the Memphis Grizzlies and the Indiana Pacers going into Madison Square Garden and nabbing a game from the New York Knicks. Let's take a closer look at the action.
Thunder 93, Grizzlies 91
Trailing by three on their home court with under a minute to go in Game 1, the Thunder turned to Kevin Durant to save them. As he often does, Durant delivered, knocking down two clutch shots in the span of 26 seconds as Oklahoma City escaped with a 93-91 victory over Memphis after Quincy Pondexter missed 2-of-3 free throws in the final seconds.
Durant finished with 35 points, 15 rebounds and six assists in a magnificent performance that included 12 points in the fourth quarter. Kevin Martin stepped up big again, putting forth his second straight 25-point effort of the postseason off the bench. Reggie Jackson was the only other Thunder player to reach double figures with 12 points, as the Thunder shot just 41.3 percent against the stingy Grizzlies defense.
Oklahoma led by one at halftime, but a poor third quarter saw them head into the fourth down nine points. But Martin and Derek Fisher (eight points) helped get the Thunder back in it before Durant's late heroics.
Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph led the Grizzlies, with both big men notching double-doubles. Gasol had 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Randolph had 18 points and 10 rebounds. Mike Conley had 13 points, but he shot just 5-of-15 from the field.
Pacers 102, Knicks 95
The Pacers pestered Carmelo Anthony into yet another poor shooting performance, holding the Knicks' star to 27 points on 28 shots and holding off a late charge to steal Game 1 at Madison Square Garden, 102-95.
All five Pacers starters scored in double figures, with David West's 20 points leading the way. Paul George struggled with his shot, but he did finish with 19 points on 5-of-14 from the field. D.J. Augustin provided a huge lift off the bench, scoring 16 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Indiana dominated in the paint and on the boards, winning both battles by 14.
The Knicks actually got off to a hot start, scoring 27 points in the first quarter and taking a five-point lead in the process. But the Pacers dominated over the next two quarters, taking a 16-point lead into the final frame. New York was able to get within six at one point in the fourth quarter, but they were never able to get any closer than that.
To go along with Anthony's shooting woes (10-of-28), J.R. Smith struggled for much of the game, scoring 17 points on 4-of-15 shooting. Raymond Felton played well, scoring 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting.
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