OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Kevin Durant put a dazzling end to Memphis' gritty comeback.
The Grizzlies erased most of a 25-point deficit before Durant, the league's scoring champion, got hot. He scored 13 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter to help the Oklahoma City Thunder defeat Memphis 100-86 on Saturday night in the opening game of their first-round playoff series.
The Thunder already were regaining control in the fourth quarter before Durant took over. He scored 11 points in a 5-minute, 21-second surge that stretched Oklahoma City's lead from seven points to 14 and put the game out of reach.
"We just stayed together," Durant said. "We made plays in the fourth quarter. The third quarter was tough for us, but we stayed together. We didn't stray away."
Russell Westbrook had 23 points and 10 rebounds and Serge Ibaka added 17 points and nine rebounds for the Thunder.
Zach Randolph led Memphis with 21 points and 11 rebounds, but he made just seven of 21 shots and got into foul trouble in the second half. Mike Conley had 16 points and 11 assists, Marc Gasol scored 16 points and Tony Allen added 13 points for the Grizzlies. Memphis might have stolen the game if not for a miserable first half.
"We've got to make adjustments to get off to a better start," Randolph said. "We can't exert so much energy trying to come back from 20 points. It's the first game, we've got to stick together. We've been here before, we know what we've got to do and come out and be ready for Monday."
Memphis shot just 36 percent from the field and made just 18 of 31 free throws.
"We got good looks. I can't say it was anything other than that," Conley said. "We got good looks. We got some open 3s. Our bigs got some good looks in the post. We just didn't knock them down. We have to be more focused at the line as well. Making free throws is a big deal for us. We got opportunities. We've got to make them."
Oklahoma City was the only home team to win on the first day of the postseason, but the Thunder nearly made it four losses for higher seeds after getting outscored 31-13 in the third quarter.
"We didn't want to be the leading trend on losing a home game," Westbrook said. "We're just happy we won a game. We did a great job of just coming out and hitting them first. They're a physical team and we did a great job of going by our game plan."
The Thunder pushed the pace to take an 8-0 lead, and Memphis called a timeout less than three minutes into the game. Conley finally scored Memphis' first point at the 9:04 mark after the Grizzlies missed their first five shots.