The Memphis Grizzlies are happy just to be in the playoffs after a rough start to the season, but things don't get any easier with a first-round matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder. These teams played four times during the 2013-14 regular season, and OKC won three of them.
Memphis may need some new answers to stop Kevin Durant, who averaged 30.8 points on 52 percent shooting against the Grizz this season. Here's a look back at those contests:
Dec. 11 — Thunder 116, Grizzlies 100
Trying to survive without an injured Marc Gasol, this loss dropped Memphis below .500 and started the team's season-high five-game losing streak. However, it also marked the low point of the team's season — after ending the streak with a win over New York on Dec. 21, Memphis would finish with 40 wins over its final 57 games. Russell Westbrook was a delight in this win, scoring 27 points on 12 shots in just 27 minutes, an incredible degree of efficiency.
Jan. 14 — Grizzlies 90, Thunder 87
Gasol was back, and the Grizzlies were able to force Oklahoma City into their style of play for one night. The result was a close, hard-fought win for Memphis as Courtney Lee exploded for 24 points on 9-of-15 shooting. The next night, the Grizzlies would get back to .500 for good with a win over Milwaukee. Durant led the Thunder with 37 points on 15-of-28 shooting, but his teammates were a combined 18-of-53 from the floor.
Feb. 3 — Thunder 86, Grizzlies 77
Memphis managed to slow things down again when these teams met a few weeks later, but OKC responded with a superb defensive effort to grab an early lead and get the win. Matching the Grizzlies' intensity right from the beginning, the Thunder limited Memphis to 40 percent shooting from the field and an even uglier 2-fo-16 mark from beyond the arc. By halftime, OKC was already up 15. The Grizzlies responded in the second half, but led by Durant's 31 points, the Thunder were able to hold on.
Feb. 28 — Thunder 113, Grizzlies 107
The Grizzlies trailed by as many as 18 in the second half, but rallied to make things interesting in the final minutes. A three-pointer by James Johnson trimmed OKC's lead to 105-102 with 2:29 remaining, but Durant scored six straight points for the Thunder to keep Memphis from getting any closer. Durant scored 37 in the victory, while Mike Miller came off the bench to lead the Grizz with 19 points in 20 minutes.