The Memphis Grizzlies are finding a little desperation can carry them a long way. How far? That remains to be seen, but they sure keep finding ways to win.
Zach Randolph had 21 points and a franchise-record 21 rebounds, and the Grizzlies rallied from a 16-point deficit to stun the Oklahoma City Thunder 101-93 in overtime Saturday and grab a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference semifinal.
The Grizzlies are trying to do something no NBA team has done in climbing from the No. 8 seed all the way to the Western Conference finals. They moved two wins away from that by remaining undefeated on their home court this postseason.
Memphis coach Lionel Hollins knows his Grizzlies were fortunate, but says that’s the NBA playoffs.
“In order to go further, you always have to be in games where you’ve got to do something miraculous in order to win the game,” Hollins said. “I thought this was miraculous the way we fought back after being down 16, and it was a super win. And like I said, by the grace of God we were fortunate to come out on top.”
The Grizzlies did it with an amazing comeback in a game they couldn’t have looked more out of synch or rusty early, but scored the first six points of overtime to finish off the victory. Guard Mike Conley said the Grizzlies just didn’t come with effort the first three quarters.
“I think once we looked up at the clock and saw how many points we were down, a little bit of desperation hit,” Conley said. “We were like, ‘Man, we cannot lose this game.’ And guys amped up their game, made some changes here and there, and we were able to just be scrappy and play our game, and fortunately we got the win.”
Kevin Durant, the NBA’s scoring leader in the regular season and these playoffs, took only three shots in overtime and missed them all. He finished with 22 points, his lowest this postseason after averaging 31.6 points coming in. He also attempted only one free throw, which he missed. Durant groaned heavily as he walked away after talking with reporters.
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