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Grizzlies come from 17 down, take 3-1 series lead with Game 4 overtime win over Thunder

May 14, 2013, 1:50 AM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Four Getty Images

The Thunder were going to need otherworldly performances out of Kevin Durant in every game they planned on winning against the Grizzlies in this series. And even then, there was no guarantee that victory would be theirs, considering the fact that they’d need at least one other person to step up and deliver an above average performance offensively to get the job done.

Without big numbers and a stellar overall performance from the team’s one remaining superstar, however, Oklahoma City was going to struggle. That ended up being the case in Game 4, as Durant finished 10-of-27 from the field while the Grizzlies came back from a 17-point first half deficit to get the 103-97 overtime victory.

Memphis now leads the best-of-seven series three games to one, and is just a single win away from a trip to the Conference finals.

Oklahoma City began the game by bringing the necessary intensity required to win a pivotal playoff game on the road, and jumped out to an 11-point lead at the end of the first quarter. Durant started by hitting two of his first three shots, and Serge Ibaka, who was much maligned after missing plenty of easy and open shots in Game 3 managed to come out strong with nine points in the opening period, on the way to 13 and 10 rebounds by halftime.

The Thunder looked poised to cruise in this one after getting out to that 17-point lead midway through the second quarter, but Memphis began its comeback by finishing the half on a 19-10 run to cut the OKC lead to single digits.

In the third quarter, the Thunder had briefly pushed their lead back to 12, and had it steady around seven or eight points for most of the period. But those final four-plus minutes were once again a killer, as the Grizzlies finished the period on a 13-4 run to tie the game heading into the fourth.

The final period was tight throughout, and this is where Durant simply couldn’t do enough to get his team over the hump. He had eight shot attempts in the period — as many as the rest of his teammates combined — and connected on only two. One of them was huge, however, coming on a drive and a scoop with the Thunder down two and six seconds remaining to tie the game and send it to an overtime session.

Once overtime began, the Thunder couldn’t hit a shot. Durant was 0-for-5 in the five minute extra frame, and the team was just 1-of-8.

The Grizzlies got big nights out of both Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, and got enough out of Mike Conley, who finished with a team high 24 points despite his 7-of-21 shooting. But just like every other game in this series, the losing team had their chances to win it in the game’s final few minutes.

It was a fantastic win for Memphis, in what is becoming an increasingly more impressive run through these playoffs. On the Thunder side, Durant just couldn’t do enough on this night to drag his team over the finish line.

  1. Mr. Wright 212 - May 14, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    Thunder are done. Should have been a sweep.

    • bnwpnw - May 14, 2013 at 3:13 AM

      Let’s attribute it to… the Sonics curse.

  2. rickyspanish - May 14, 2013 at 2:05 AM

    I like Memphis and their crowd. It seems like a fun place to be.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - May 14, 2013 at 2:40 AM

      The Grind House.

      • WatchThis - May 14, 2013 at 3:21 AM

        Will there be no real challenger to the Heat this season? No, there won’t.

      • vapor54 - May 14, 2013 at 7:52 AM

        Gasol & Randolph are proving that inside play matters.

  3. jblokhed - May 14, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    What’s up with “Grizzlies” anyway? I know, Vancouver and all.

    Just like Lakers (former Minneapolis) and worst of all Jazz (former New Orleans).

    I propose a three team swap.

    Memphis = Jazz. A great historic Jazz city.
    Utah = Lakers. The Great Salt Lake.
    Los Angeles = Grizzlies. The state symbol; it’s on the flag.

    It just makes sense.

  4. hjworton46 - May 14, 2013 at 2:29 AM

    It’s about time basketball addressed the terrible nicknames of teams who have moved location. I cannot bring myself to have positive thoughts about Grizzlies in Memphis or Jazz in Utah. Sort it out.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - May 14, 2013 at 2:41 AM

      Licensing. Marketing. Red tape between the league, sponsors, TV contracts, players association, etc. Too much work to undo it, especially when the names become synonymous with the team (even in the obviously inaccurate situations).

      Even when I was little in the early 80s, I wondered how they got “Jazz” out of Utah ha.

    • lucifershuttlesworth - May 14, 2013 at 3:03 AM

      The real issue is the teams being relocated in the first place. If these two teams were still located in Seattle and Vancouver it would make for a great rivalry.

      • bnwpnw - May 14, 2013 at 3:12 AM

        Yep, this series would have been epic. But then Stern happened and the NW part of the continent became a black hole of total lack of interest in the NBA. Call it The Stern Hole.

  5. oldcat157 - May 14, 2013 at 7:17 AM

    Not the Sonic curse, it’s the Harden curse! Karma bites back!

  6. metalhead65 - May 14, 2013 at 7:25 AM

    the big question remains is will derek fisher be able to sign with the grizzilies or another team still in the playoffs when he is released by the thunder when the series is over? not that it is about winning but about finding a place where his family is comfortable right? I would have rooted harder for the thunder if that clown were not on the team.

  7. loungefly74 - May 14, 2013 at 7:50 AM

    pulling for the Grizz. Lets channel the 2004 Pistons.

    • unxpexted1 - May 14, 2013 at 8:26 AM

      yea man i’m riding with the grizz too. WOuld love to see them n GSW in the WCF.

      Speaking of the Pistons, this grizz team is the first team since to not have a 18 PPG scorer. Think their leading scorer is Randolph at 15 PPG. Team ball making a come back.

  8. tomtravis76 - May 14, 2013 at 8:26 AM

    An NBA nightmare would be Pacers vs Memphis finals from a national fan interest…terrible ratings.

    • patfic15 - May 14, 2013 at 8:30 AM

      Stern hear you loud and clear. Rest easy my friend.

    • bucrightoff - May 14, 2013 at 9:45 AM

      I legitimately expect ESPN/ABC to pass the series off the TNT if we get this. No doubt it’ll be the lowest rated Finals ever, a perfect sendoff to big market loving David Stern.

  9. pl4tinum514 - May 14, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    Yeah but Pacers / Memphis would restore balance to the league because teams wouldn’t all be annihilating their rosters trying to make the next lame a$$ superteam.

  10. caeser12 - May 14, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    Uh the Thunder were up by 17, no defense, no excuses.

  11. northstarnic - May 14, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    As another commenter noted, there is no way two smaller market teams that lack stars/memorabilia movers makes the finals. This is Stern’s NBA. Selling the product is job #1, true competition be damned. The fix is in boys, has been for years.

    • mobuccsfan - May 14, 2013 at 2:10 PM

      I’d sadly agree with you…I would be okay with a Warriors/Grizzlies vs Pacers series and I’m a Heat fan (to clarify, a pre-Lebron James Heat fan–followed them since the early 90’s.

  12. deavn - May 14, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    Is it just me, or do Rudy Gay and Danny Granger kind of resemble each other in a weird way?

  13. jacksonkane - May 14, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    the fix is in??? the spurs won 4 titles in a 9 year period. thats not a fixed lea Ieugue.

  14. ajonesmc931 - May 14, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    @northstarnic that’s ridiculous, ur sounding like a true hater right now

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