Kevin Durant scores 40 points as Thunder beats Memphis 109-100

By Darnell Mayberry, Staff Writer, dmayberry@opubco.com Modified: January 8, 2011 at 11:09 pm •  Published: January 8, 2011
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Facing him for the second time in five days, the Oklahoma City Thunder still couldn't come up with a remedy for Zach Randolph.

So the Thunder stopped everyone else.

In doing so, Oklahoma City avenged Tuesday's five-point loss to Memphis with a 109-100 win on Saturday.

Round two saw the Thunder play tougher and more physical against the bigger Grizzlies, who bullied OKC in the first meeting. After getting out-rebounded 42-31 — and 12-3 on the offensive end — earlier this week, the Thunder did a much better job of controlling Memphis in the paint. The Thunder won Saturday's rebounding game 47-40 and shut off the Grizzlies completely in the fourth quarter with a 15-10 rebounding edge.

Through three quarters, Memphis had outscored OKC 18-8 in second-chance points. In the final period, the Thunder held the Grizzlies to three second-chance points.

Eight of the nine Thunder players that saw action Saturday pulled down at least four rebounds.

“I thought all of our bigs did a good job of battling and staying focused,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “Defensively, we were good tonight.”

The Thunder's defensive effort against Randolph was visibly better than it was when it allowed the Grizzlies' power forward to score 31 points with 16 rebounds Tuesday. Still, Randolph bulldozed his way to 27 points and 16 rebounds. Nine of his rebounds came on the offensive end, which had kept the Grizzlies hanging around most of the night.

“Zach Randolph is a monster down there,” said Kevin Durant. “He played well tonight, but I think we made it a little tougher on him. We didn't give him those easy baskets like he got last game. He had to work for everything. He's an All-Star, so you know he's going to make tough shots. And he did tonight.”

Saturday's box score