For the Thunder to get out of this first-round series, it must now win at least once in an arena that the Grizzlies have won 14 straight.
“Everybody's going to be there,” Kevin Durant said. “They're going to have T-shirts. They're going to be swinging towels. It's the playoffs. It's going to be hostile, but we've been there before."
Memphis’ current home streak – a franchise record – includes wins over the Heat, Clippers, Pacers and Blazers.
The Thunder is 1-4 all-time in the playoffs in Memphis, with the lone win coming in triple overtime.
“It's a long series,” Durant said. “We lost a game at home. Just because we're going on the road it's not guaranteed the home team wins. So if we play our game and eliminate the mistakes that we put on ourselves, then we should be all right."
LEE WANTS MORE WESTBROOK SHOTS
More Russell Westbrook is A-OK with Memphis Grizzlies guard Courtney Lee.
Lee said he's just fine with Westbrook taking more shots for the Thunder in their Western Conference series. It's better than the alternative — aka Kevin Durant.
"We're fine with Westbrook taking shots," Lee told a Memphis radio station. "I mean, that's kinda what you want — the more shots he takes, the less Durant takes."
Westbrook and Durant each attempted 28 shots in the Thunder's 111-105 loss to Memphis on Monday, with Westbrook hitting 11 shots to Durant's 12.
Oftentimes, in extended series, it’s not the star that burns an opponent, but rather the unexpected contributions of a role player.
For the Grizzlies, that was Beno Udrih’s season-high 14 points in Game 2. And for the Thunder, it might need to be a random guy in these next two road games.
But for Memphis coach Dave Joerger, preparation remains all about Durant and Westbrook.
“Everyone wants to know who the X-factor is,” Joerger said. “Look, it’s still about Durant and Westbrook.”
STAT OF THE DAY
In the 14 Thunder-Grizzlies playoff games the past four seasons, there have been six overtime periods. Eight of the 14 games have been decided by six points or less and six by four points or less.
“If you like NBA or pro basketball it is fun to watch,” Joerger said of the matchup. “There’s a lot of stuff going on out there, a lot of performances.”
Kendrick Perkins with another way to combat Tony Allen’s aggressiveness: “(Durant) may not have 35 points, sometimes he may have to be a decoy and just have 15, then Serge will roll to the basket and get some dunks because Tony Allen gonna be scared to help. It ain’t all about getting KD off. If a guy is not going to help on the defensive end, it’ll leave another guy open. He’ll have to be a decoy.”