The Memphis Grizzlies got what they came for.
After a 99-93 victory over the Thunder in Game 2 on Tuesday night inside Chesapeake Energy Arena, the Grizzlies stole home-court advantage away from the Thunder and knotted the best-of-seven series at one game apiece.
Game 3 is on Saturday afternoon in Memphis.
Kevin Durant continued his marvelous postseason, scoring a game-high 36 points with 11 rebounds and nine assists. But he again had little help on the offensive end. Derek Fisher scored 19 points off the bench.
Durant and Fisher combined to make 17 of 30 shots.
Every other Thunder player combined to shoot 13-for-40.
Mike Conley shook off a subpar performance in Game 1 to lead the Grizzlies with a team-high 26 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Grizzlies center Marc Gasol scored 24 points with five rebounds and five assists. Zach Randolph added 15 points, and Tony Allen finished with 12.
Turnovers and rebounding ultimately doomed the Thunder.
Oklahoma City came away clean in both categories in Game 1, when the Thunder out-rebounded the Grizzlies by two and allowed only eight offensive rebounds while turning it over just 10 times.
Tuesday night was a totally different story.
The Thunder was out-rebounded 43-35 and allowed 16 offensive rebounds. Memphis converted those rebounds into 23 second-chance points.
“We gave up too many offensive rebounds and second chance points,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “The game before, we did an outstanding job.”
This time, the Thunder had more turnovers by halftime than it did in all of Game 1. By the final buzzer, Oklahoma City had 21 turnovers, leading to 29 Grizzlies points.
“We do a better job in those two areas and we're still in the game,” Brooks said. “Those are areas that are correctable. Those are areas that we can get better at going into next game. Those are two important areas.”
Ironically, the Thunder finally avoided starting the game slowly. After being outscored 147-88 since Game 2 in the first five minutes of the first and third periods, the Thunder never allowed the Grizzlies to take control early. This time, the score was tied at nine after the first five minutes, although both teams struggled to put the ball in the hole.
Oklahoma City's early issue in this one was ball security. The Thunder turned it over six times in the opening quarter, which led to 10 Grizzlies points. Memphis turned it over just twice, leading to only one point for the Thunder. Despite misfiring on 10 of 16 shots, the Thunder trailed 23-21 after the opening period.