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OKC Thunder Three-Point Favorites Against Memphis Grizzlies in Game 2

The Oklahoma City Thunder are three-point favorites against the No. 5-seeded Memphis Grizzlies in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals tonight. The Thunder were lifted over the Grizzlies on a go-ahead pull up jumper from Kevin Durant in Game 1 to propel OKC to a narrow 93-91 victory. Everyone on the court in this series knows that Durant is special, and his big shot only added to his burgeoning legend.

“If you just go through the history, all the great players made big shots,” said Grizzlies’ coach Lionel Hollins. “That’s why they’re great, not just good. If you’re not a clutch player, you’re not a great player. You cannot be a great player and not be a clutch player.”

“That’s how you build a legacy. That’s how you become a part of the history of this game is by making those great shots,” said OKC’s Derek Fisher. “And Kevin, only five or six years into the league, is becoming one of those guys that we’ll remember forever. It’s always great to be on the same team with those kind of guys.”

Oklahoma City is going to need a lot more of the same out of Durant if they want to put away this series early. The Grizzlies play one of the toughest and most rugged brand of basketball in the league, and they got a lot of clean looks in Game 1 that simply didn’t fall. If the Grizz can start converting some shots, as they did when they were down 2-0 to the Los Angeles Clippers, they could easily swing the series back in their direction. But to do that, they’re going to have to overcome the second-best player in the entire NBA, who has taken on a ridiculously large offensive responsibility after his running mate, point guard Russell Westbrook, exited the season with a knee injury.

“There’s no question guys have it and guys don’t, and Kevin has it,” Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. “He loves big moments. I’m sure he’s always been that type of player from the day he picked up a basketball. He has it because he has the skill level, he has the ability to get where he wants to get to. In order to really have it, you have to be able to understand that some nights it’s not going to go for you … but you have to be able to do it again the next time. So, you have to have that short-term memory.”

“The smaller fraternity of guys that are elite, special, greatest ever is in those situations, they can get the shot that they want. No matter what the defense does, they are going to get to the spot on the floor they want to get to,” Fisher said. “I’ve seen Shaq do it, I’ve seen Kobe (Bryant) do it, I’ve seen great guys do that. I think for Kevin, he’s done it already but I think that’s an area where, as he continues to learn how to get the shot he wants every time, he’s going to be even more difficult to guard for opponents.”

Here are the betting trends for both teams heading into tonight’s game, courtesy of the ever-invaluable OddsShark.com:

Memphis Grizzlies Trends:
When playing on Tuesday are 8-2
Before playing Oklahoma City are 7-3
After playing Oklahoma City are 6-4
After a loss are 7-3

Oklahoma City Thunder Trends:
When playing on Tuesday are 5-5
Before playing Memphis are 7-3
After playing Memphis are 5-5
After a win are 7-3

A few Grizzlies at Thunder trends to consider:
Memphis is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Memphis’s last 5 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 12 of Memphis’s last 15 games when playing on the road against Oklahoma City
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Memphis’s last 7 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Oklahoma City’s last 5 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Oklahoma City’s last 10 games
The total has gone OVER in 12 of Oklahoma City’s last 15 games when playing at home against Memphis
Oklahoma City is 20-5 SU in its last 25 games at home



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