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Fatigue no factor for Grizzlies in win over Thunder

BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: May 2, 2011

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.


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