Grizzlies Tie Series with OT Win, Beverley Likely to Play in Game 2

For the NBA’s Southwest division, four of its five teams are in the playoffs but on Monday, only one of them took to the court.

The No. 7 Memphis Grizzlies played in Game 2 against the No. 2 Oklahoma City Thunder, winning in overtime, 111-105. The team kept its head down, not allowing Kevin Durant’s play rattle them as well as an extended game to detour its mission to win.

The series is now tied at 1-1.

Zach Randolph

Zach Randolph

Zach Randolph led in scoring with 25 points but it was an all-team effort as Mike Conley added 19 points, seven rebounds and 12 assists while guarding Russell Westbrook. When Conley took a break, Beno Udrih came in and contributed 14 points (6-of-8 shooting). Mike Miller showed he’s the guy to do the long shooting (3 for 4) while Courtney Lee and Marc Gasol added 16 points apiece.

Tony Allen (eight points and eight rebounds) said of the game via the Associated Press, “It was just staying confident, understanding that those guys are going to make runs. We’ve got to weather the storm by staying together and not getting down.”

As for the Thunder, Durant played like Durant, scoring 36 points (12 of 28) and 11 rebounds, but he entered halftime with just eight points and had only 16 after three quarters. But with his game-total number, Durant is now the third player in league history to have a minimum of 35 points and 10 rebounds, while hitting at least 5 3-pointers in one game.

In Monday’s matchup with less than 14 seconds remaining, Durant was clutch, first hitting a 3-pointer and then subsequently adding a free throw to make it a one-point game. Kendrick Perkins hit the tying basket at the buzzer to push the game to overtime.

Westbrook added 29 points (11 of 28 shots) while Serge Ibaka contributed 15 points with 11 rebounds. From the field, the Thunder shot less than 40 percent.

Game 3 will take place on Thursday in Memphis. It’s too early for Vegas to pick this winner but looking ahead to the 2014 NBA Championship, the Grizzlies sit at 66/1 while the Thunder are 4/1. Maybe the more interesting question is will this series go to Game 7?

In other news from the Southwest division, the No. 4 Houston Rockets announced on Monday that Patrick Beverley is “likely” to play in Game 2 against the No. 5 Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday.

During Sunday’s game, Beverley got hit in the knee but kept playing with a hobble before the game ended for him with too many fouls. Initially it was thought that Beverley would be absent for some games but Yahoo Sports reported that a Monday MRI did not show any additional knee damage. This comes as the player tore his meniscus earlier in the month.

For the night, Beverley scored nine points with six rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block.

Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard

In Game 1, the Trail Blazers took the win, 122-120 in OT. There was a controversial call on Dwight Howard at the end. In overtime with 15 seconds left, officials called a sixth foul on the player after he got tangled up with Portland’s Joel Freeland. The foul prompted an automatic end for Howard’s participation in the game while Freeland receive a pair of foul shots.

One of them was good enough to get the win after teammate Damian Lillard’s prior free throws had given the team a final lead.

On Monday, the NBA said not so fast about the call as it made an announcement that Howard shouldn’t have received the questionable final foul in Sunday’s game. Instead, it should have been called on Freeland with two free throws going to Howard.

The series resumes on Wednesday with Game 2.

The Rockets sit at 20/1 to win this year’s championship while the Trail Blazers are 40/1.

 

 

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