Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinal was supposed to offer the path of least resistance for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Memphis Grizzlies were just 37 hours removed from eliminating top-seeded San Antonio in the opening round late Friday night at FedExForum.
If the Grizzlies were battling fatigue, none of it showed during Sunday's noon start inside Oklahoma City Arena, where Memphis manhandled the Thunder with a 114-101 victory in the second-round series opener.
OKC already has lost home court advantage heading into Game 2 on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. The series moves to Memphis for Games 3 and 4 on Saturday and next Monday.
"Any time you win on the road in the playoffs, it's a steal," Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said afterward.
Memphis didn't steal Sunday's win. It flat-out took it.
Although there can be a fine line between adrenaline and fatigue, the Grizzlies instead were able to stay in rhythm from their San Antonio series and wound up dominating the Thunder.
"I didn't feel tired at all," Memphis center Marc Gasol said.
The Grizzlies took the lead for good 90 seconds into the contest and led by double-digits for 15½ minutes. They essentially did as they pleased, whether it was controlling the boards, making key defensive stops, finding the open shooter or collecting steals.
Memphis outscored the Thunder 52-38 in the paint, 23-8 off turnovers and had 21 assists, 17 offensive rebounds and 11 steals.
The Grizzlies had five players score in double-digits, led by the inside tandem of Zach Randolph and Gasol, who combined for 54 points and 23 rebounds.
Randolph had 34 points, 10 boards and three steals, while Gasol had 20 points (9 for 11 from the field), 13 rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots. Point guard Mike Conley added 15 points, seven assists and two steals.
The Thunder had three players score in double-digits in Kevin Durant (33), Russell Westbrook (29) and Serge Ibaka (16). Durant and Ibaka had 11 rebounds each and Ibaka added five blocks. Westbrook had eight rebounds and six assists, but seven turnovers.
They key to victory was the 6-foot-9, 260-pound Randolph.
After the Thunder had narrowed a 10-point halftime deficit to 61-58, Randolph scored 10 points and grabbed three offensive rebounds in the next three minutes, stabilizing his team and counterpunching OKC's frenzied comeback.
"We've shown a lot of growth in that area," Conley said of his team maintaining its composure. "Guys are not getting rattled. We knew they were going to make runs. This is their building. It's going to get loud. I think we've gotten used to that. That's helping us a lot down the stretch, especially our bench. They're coming in and they can extend the lead."
Randolph opened with nine points and four rebounds in the first quarter.
"He's so big for this team," Memphis reserve forward Shane Battier said of Randolph. "He set the tone with his aggressiveness and I thought we really fed off Zach early. He's been dialed in for a long time. The guy's on a mission."
Not a single player in the Grizzlies' locker room said he felt fatigue at any point in the game.
"I believe it's just a carry-over," Conley said. "We're in a good rhythm right now. Zach's playing some of the best ball I've ever seen him play. We love to play. We're just having fun with this whole deal.
"We understand the playoffs are important and each game is important, but we're just all having a ball out here, having a great time. Playing in front of the away crowd and the home crowd just gets us excited. It's all about basketball right now."
When Memphis took a 16-point lead in the second quarter, back-to-back possessions three minutes before intermission typified how well things were going for the Grizzlies.
Sam Young banked in a 20-footer from the top of the key and 35 seconds later Randolph calmly converted a 3-pointer. Randolph came into the game shooting 18.6 percent (8 for 43) beyond the arc.
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