MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Short-handed and now precariously short on time, the Oklahoma City Thunder returned home via charter flight early Tuesday on the brink of elimination.
The Memphis Grizzlies posted a 103-97 overtime victory over the Thunder in Game 4 late Monday to take a commanding 3-1 lead in this Western Conference semifinal.
Game 5 is Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. at Chesapeake Energy Arena. If the Thunder wins, Game 6 would be in Memphis on Friday. If a Game 7 is necessary, it would be Sunday at The Peake.
One more loss in the best-of-7 series and OKC's season will come to a premature end. The defending conference champion Thunder finished the regular season with 60 victories and as the top seed in the West.
OKC was the odds-on favorite to return to the NBA Finals when the playoffs began, but all that changed when three-time All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook underwent season-ending knee surgery on April 27.
At the time, the Thunder owned a 2-0 lead against the Houston Rockets in the opening round. Since then, OKC has gone just 3-5 with three straight losses to the Grizzlies.