The Memphis Grizzlies rallied back to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 103-97 in overtime Monday night, and they’re now just one win from advancing to the Western Conference Finals. Mike Conley led the Grizzlies with 24 points and five assists to push the Thunder to the brink of elimination as they’ve lost three straight for only the second time this year.
Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph both finished with double-doubles on the night as the Grizzlies fought their way back after struggling early in the contest. The Thunder led by as much as 17 points in the first half, but the Grizzlies slowly cut the lead and went on a 12-point swing in the third quarter to tie the game.
The Thunder couldn’t miss from the floor to start the game and they jumped out to a 29-18 lead to end the first quarter, their largest lead in the series. Segre Ibaka was on fire as he dropped nine points and seven rebounds in the first 12 minutes of the contest.
Ibaka would finish with 17 points and 14 rebounds on the night, while Kevin Durant led all scorers with 27 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists. Durant went cold in the second half and shot 2-for-13 in the fourth quarter and overtime combined for five points.
The 24-year-old made a layup in the final seconds to force overtime, but the Thunder never found a rhythm and shot one-for-eight as a team while being outscored 9-3 in the extra frame.
The Memphis Grizzlies can now eliminate the Thunder on Wednesday night on the road in Game 5. Oklahoma City’s only win this series came at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Game 1. The Grizzlies have won every game since and seven of their last eight, including every home game this postseason.
Head coach Lionel Hollins was very pleased with his team’s energy on Monday as they fought back to push their series lead to 3-1 as they head back to Oklahoma City.
“We are a team that just plays hard and doesn’t quit,” Hollins said after the game. “We scratch. We claw. They said grit and grind. I don’t know what the heck that means, but we go out and we just battle. We compete.”
The Thunder will look to regroup back home as they are now forced to win out if they hope to move on to the conference finals. The Grizzlies have no plans of letting the Thunder back in the series, and they will look to continue rolling in Oklahoma City on Wednesday.
Can the Thunder fend off elimination in Game 5, or will the Grizzlies reach the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history?
[Image via Mark Runyon | Basketball Schedule]