For a series with such a limited history, Thunder-Grizzlies has provided a lot of memorable moments over the last five years. In honor of the seven-game Western Conference semifinals that start Sunday, here are the seven most memorable OKC-Memphis games:
1. May 9, 2011: The Thunder evens the 2011 Western Conference semifinals at 2-2 with a 133-123 triple-overtime victory. The Thunder rallied from an 18-point deficit in the second quarter but blew a 10-point lead in the final five minutes of regulation.
Memphis' Mike Conley swished a 3-pointer to force the first overtime, then Greivis Vasquez hit a 26-foot one-hander with nine seconds left to force a second overtime. Finally, the Thunder pulled away in the third overtime. Only one NBA playoff game ever has gone longer.
2. Nov. 14, 2012: Kendrick Perkins and Zach Randolph are ejected with 2:05 left in a game won by the Grizzlies 107-97. Then in the hallway outside the locker rooms, their beef escalated.
Perkins: “I'll meet you by the bus.”
Randolph: “I'll beat your ***.”
Later, Randolph was fined $25,000. Perkins said, “Just too much talking … You do have to see this team three more times, and we can't be showing no signs of weakness.”
Now the teams play anywhere from four games to seven games over the next two weeks.
3. Dec. 28, 2011: The Thunder's 98-95 victory in Memphis — clinched by Kevin Durant's big 3-pointer in the final 30 seconds — was overshadowed by a spat between Durant and Russell Westbrook.
During a timeout late in the second quarter, there were several verbal exchanges on the Thunder bench, notably between the Thunder's two stars.
What is it about Memphis that lights the loose cannon in Westbrook? Oh for that cannon to be available in this series.
4. Jan. 22, 2010: In a game matching the NBA's two youngest rosters and billed as a battle of the up-and-comers, Rudy Gay sank a 20-foot shot over Kevin Durant with 1.3 seconds left, giving the Grizzlies an 86-84 victory.