Tony Allen and Zach Randolph opened overtime with a pair of buckets, Randolph’s off a loose ball scramble, to give Memphis its biggest lead of the game to that moment. Four points was the separation. And the Grizzlies would make it stick, remaining in control for the extent of the extra session, suffocating OKC’s offense and putting just enough points on the board to take a commanding 3-1 series lead.
It was over when…
…Derek Fisher made an uncharacteristic mental mistake, tossing a bounce bass directly into Tony Allen’s hands at the absolute worst time. OKC was down three, with the ball out of bounds, looking to tie the game with under 30 seconds to play. After Allen’s steal, Marc Gasol would drop in a free throw and the Thunder would never again get within a possession of the Grizzlies.
Star of the game – Marc Gasol
Another incredible team effort from the Grizzlies, who are void of a true star, but filled with wildly talented leaders and underrated role players. But Gasol, like he normally does, made everything click, producing big time on offense (23 points) and maybe even bigger on defense (11 rebounds and six blocks). He’s been huge all series and may have provided us with the strangest GIF of all-time, going with the finger-gun salute after a jumper:
It was a similar story for Kevin Durant. He started hot, hitting a high percentage of his shots, racking up points and carrying the Thunder offense on his back. But the heavy burden eventually caught up, hindering his performance down the stretch. Durant went 2-of-11 shooting in the fourth quarter and overtime, missing at crucial times. Related, here are his minutes, by game, since Russell Westbrook was injured: 47, 42, 45, 43, 44, 43, 46, 48.
Stats of note
-There have been 62 lead changes and 40 ties in this series.
-Nick Collison fouled out for the second time in this series. He only fouled out twice in the entire regular season.
-That’s only the fifth time in the past three seasons that OKC has lost three games in a row.
Tweet of the game
Everyone’s favorite Laker weighing in:
Former Cavalier Daniel Gibson giving his take and it’s a rational one. We all have to remind ourselves once in a while: This is still a team missing one of the top-10 (maybe top-5) players in the league and its emotional heart and soul.
Strong move by Reggie Jackson, who has played valiantly in a tough spot.
Game 5 is in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m. Normally I don’t like the term ‘must-win game’, but it’s pretty safe for the Thunder to use it in this scenario.