Home » Blog » Grizzlies Rumble Past Thunder

Grizzlies Rumble Past Thunder

Mike Conley's breakout performance fueled the Grizzlies to victory in Game 2.

Mike Conley’s breakout performance fueled the Grizzlies to victory in Game 2.

Behind a breakout performance from Mike Conley, the Memphis Grizzlies handed the Oklahoma City Thunder a 99-93 defeat Tuesday, bringing the best-of-seven series to a 1-1 tie.

While much has been written about Memphis’ power tandem of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, it was the former Ohio State point guard who grabbed the attention in Game 2, finishing one assist shy of a triple-double and leading the Grizzlies to a clutch win.

Game 2 Recap

With the bitter taste of Game 1 still fresh in the mouth, there was no way that Memphis was going to let another game slip through its fingers.

Trailing 74-69 heading into the fourth quarter, the Grizzlies outscored the Thunder 30-19 in the final session, clawing level in the Western Conference semifinals.

Conley tallied 26 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter, to lead the Grizzlies to victory. The six-year guard added 10 rebounds and nine assists, falling one dime short of a triple-double in the process. His go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:58 left on the clock would ultimately prove essential.

Conley wasn’t the only played filling the score sheet. Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant finished with 36 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists, as well as a block and steal. The All-Star did all he could to put the Thunder on his shoulders again, but this time the performance wasn’t quite enough.

Oklahoma City got just 23 points out of Thabo Sefolosha, Reggie Jackson and Kevin Martin in the backcourt, while Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins combined for just 15 points and 11 rebounds. In fact, had it not been for Derek Fisher’s 19 points on 6-9 shooting (4-5 from behind the arc), the Thunder would have been left for dead in this one.

The Thunder did manage to outshoot the Grizzlies, but Lionel Hollins’ side won every other battle. The Grizzlies out rebounded the Thunder 16-8 on the offensive glass, leading to a 23-16 edge in second chance points. The Grizzlies took a 50-30 advantage scoring in the paint and an 18-7 advantage in fast break points. Although the score doesn’t reflect it, the Grizzlies owned this game.

Defensive Player of the Year, Marc Gasol tallied 24 points, five rebounds and five steals, while Zach Randolph added 15 points and eight rebounds. Tony Allen had 12 points and five steals, two coming late in the game.

Memphis hit important shots down the stretch, whilst keeping the Thunder off the scoreboard. Fisher’s 3-pointer at the final buzzer was Oklahoma City’s only score in the final 2:41.

Ultimately, the Grizzlies emerged with a 99-93 victory and, crucially, a tie in the series. Now, imagine if Kevin Durant hadn’t saved Game 1 for the Thunder.

Struggling without Russell Westbrook, the Thunder are no longer Western Conference favorites.

Struggling without Russell Westbrook, the Thunder are no longer Western Conference favorites.

Betting Results

The victory marked Memphis’ fifth playoff win in six games, having defeated the Clippers in four straight games to close out the opening round series.

Bettors taking the Grizzlies to cover the spread (+3) in Game 2 were rewarded, as they have been so often this postseason. Memphis has now covered the spread in seven straight playoff games, moving to 7-1-0 ATS this postseason. That includes a 3-0-0 ATS record at home and a 4-1-0 ATS record on the road.

Oklahoma City meanwhile failed to cover the spread for the second straight game, and fourth time in five games. The Thunder has gone 3-5-0 ATS this postseason, including a miserable 1-4-0 ATS record at home. The team can raise its collective chin somewhat as the series switches to Memphis; the Thunder has gone 2-1-0 ATS on the road so far this postseason.

Memphis now holds a 3-2-0 ATS record when playing Oklahoma City this season.

The total (188.5) in Game 2 went over. Memphis (6-2-0) has favored the over this postseason while Oklahoma City (2-6-0) has favored the under.

During five meetings between the two sides this season, the total has now gone over three times and under twice.

Grizzlies Now Favored in the Series

Russell Westbrook’s injury has had a significant impact on the Thunder in the eyes of the bookmakers. This, and two close games to open the series, has contributed to Oklahoma City losing its status as Western Conference favorite.

According to Bovada, the Thunder – who opened the season at 9/2 to win the NBA championship (behind only Miami and the Lakers) and were 17/4 at the beginning of the playoffs – are now 18/1 to win the title.

At 10/1 to win a championship, Memphis has leaped ahead of the Thunder and now only trail San Antonio (9/2) and Miami (4/9) on the books. Momentum has certainly shifted in favor of the Grizzlies.

The series now switches to Memphis, Tenn., where the Grizzlies recorded a 32-9 record during the regular season. The side is also unbeaten (3-0) at FedEx Forum this postseason.

The Grizzlies will enter Game 3 as the favorite. The spread opened at 3.5 with the total registering at 187.5.



GAME 1: Memphis 91, Oklahoma City 93

GAME 2: Memphis 99, Oklahoma City 93

GAME 3: Oklahoma City at Memphis (Sat, May 11, 5:00 pm ET)

GAME 4: Oklahoma City at Memphis (Mon, May 13, 9:30 pm ET)

GAME 5: Memphis at Oklahoma City (Wed, May 15, TBD)

GAME 6: Oklahoma City at Memphis (Fri, May 17, TBD)*

GAME 7: Memphis at Oklahoma City (Sun, May 19, TBD)*

*If necessary

  • 100%