Recap: Oklahoma City vs. Memphis


The Sports Network

Oklahoma City, OK ( - The Grizzlies gave everything they had, but MVP front-runner Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Oklahoma City Thunder were just too much to handle for the under-manned visitors.

Durant scored a game-high 33 points, Westbrook posted his third career playoff triple-double and the Thunder advanced to the Western Conference semifinals with a 120-109 win over Memphis in Saturday's Game 7.

Westbrook stuffed the stat sheet, contributing 27 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds to help the Thunder reach the conference semis for the fourth consecutive season. Durant, meanwhile, shot a perfect 5-for-5 from behind the arc and added eight boards in the triumph.

"You've got to give credit, Memphis is an unbelievable ball club," praised Westbrook. "They're well-coached, they did a great job of mixing things up and making things tough for myself and Kevin."

The Thunder will host the Clippers in Game 1 of the semis on Monday.

Marc Gasol paced Memphis with 24 points and six assists and Mike Conley battled through a strained right hamstring to tally 20 points with nine assists in defeat. Both players added four steals.

"You've got to be proud of winning 50 games, but I expect so much out of this team that right now it's not easy to be positive," said Gasol. "Of course I'm positive and I'm proud. But (I wanted) one more."

Memphis led 3-2 in the series but missed its opportunity to advance at home in Game 6, losing more than just a game in the process. Star power forward Zach Randolph -- who led Memphis in scoring with 18.9 points per game in the series -- was suspended for Game 7 after punching Thunder rookie center Steven Adams late in Thursday's setback.

The Grizzlies fell to 0-3 all-time in Game 7s.

A trio of 3-pointers -- two from Durant and one from Caron Butler -- fueled a 17-5 surge to open the second half and break the game open.

The Thunder had a three-point edge at halftime and quickly extended the margin with a pair of Butler free throws and a Durant mid-range jumper. After Tony Allen made a pair of free throws at the other end, Butler and Durant hit triples on consecutive possessions around a Gasol missed jumper to give OKC its first double-digit lead.

After three more Memphis foul shots, the Thunder ran off seven in a row to make it 78-63.

The Grizzlies didn't get a field goal to go down in the half until Conley's driving layup five minutes and 24 seconds in. Conley hit another one to cut the deficit back to single digits, but the Thunder would not be denied. Adams got in on the action with a jam and Derek Fisher followed with a corner 3. Adams added a short hook shot late in the frame.

The Thunder shot 13-for-17 in the third. They led by as many as 16 and took a 93-81 lead into the fourth.

Memphis never threatened in the fourth.

Early on, the Grizzlies trailed 11-4 but survived the initial surge from OKC and looked like the more confident team over the rest of the first quarter. Mike Miller and Courtney Lee sank 3-pointers around a Conley layup and Gasol scored five straight to make it 24-18.

Westbrook and Durant combined for seven turnovers in the opening 12 minutes. The Grizzlies had just one as a team and led 36-27. It was their highest scoring first quarter of the entire season.

The Thunder rallied to tie the score at 44 midway through the second period. Durant hit a pair of jumpers during a 10-0 flurry, which Westbrook capped with an explosive layup.

Durant's 3-ball from the right wing at 2:33 gave Oklahoma City its first lead since the early stages. Conley tied it on Memphis' penultimate possession of the half with a righty floater plus a free throw, but after Gasol picked up his third foul on a moving screen with nine seconds to go, Durant took the ball the length of the floor and stopped on a dime for a go-ahead triple.

Both teams had their highest-scoring first half of the series. Durant had 21 at the break and Oklahoma City led 61-58.

Game Notes

Read more Basketball Wires stories from the Miami Herald

  • Ailene Voisin: Kings work on building team, arena

    The Kings are less than a week removed from the Las Vegas showcase where confetti flew, Ray McCallum was named MVP of the summer league finale, and the players and owners held the championship trophy aloft, handling the sleek and shiny object like a brand-new car.

  • Lakers negotiating with Byron Scott

    LOS ANGELES-The Los Angeles Lakers are getting closer to hiring their third head coach since Phil Jackson left their sidelines in 2011, engaging in negotiations with Byron Scott, according to a person familiar with the situation.

  • Lakers re-sign G Xavier Henry

    The Los Angeles Lakers have re-signed guard Xavier Henry.

Get your Miami Heat Fan Gear!

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category