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Mike Conley dominates in crunch time, Memphis takes command of series

by Berry Tramel Published: May 8, 2013

Conley was the best player on the court in the final two minutes, time usually reserved for Durant.

Conley's 3-pointer with 1:58 left gave Memphis a 92-90 lead, then his 18-footer made it 94-90 with 1:04 to go.

Conley had 26 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, spotlighting the difference in point guard play.

With Westbrook out for the playoffs, the Thunder is patchworking its point play. Reggie Jackson had his worst game in the six he's started since Westbrook's injury, with 10 points, three turnovers and two assists. The Thunder had 19 turnovers total.

Conley was superb down the stretch, and if the Thunder doesn't figure out a way to contain him, all the angst over stopping Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph will be wasted energy. Stopping Conley will be Key No. 1.

That could mean more Thabo Sefolosha, who played just 23:28 – six teammates played more. Thabo gives the Thunder the best chance at slowing Conley.

Certainly, Hollins made the adjustment by playing Allen more on Durant, and it paid off.

So expect more Thabo in Game 3 Saturday, when the Thunder must try to wrestle away a victory in a series that has turned Memphis' way.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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