A loss of focus in the final three minutes of the first half burned the Thunder and turned a five-point lead into the three-point halftime deficit. Memphis hauled in six of its seven second-quarter offensive rebounds in those final three minutes. Five came on two trips.
By the end of the third quarter, there were 22 lead changes, which summed up just how much of a see-saw affair the second half became.
Durant capped the quarter with five points in the final eight seconds. After a crossover at the top of the arc on Quincy Pondexter, Durant worked his way into the lane before throwing down a vicious one-handed dunk over Darrell Arthur. Following a pair of foul shots by Jerryd Bayless, Durant was fouled by Arthur near halfcourt while in the process of shooting with 0.9 seconds left. He made both free throws, giving the Thunder a 74-69 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Brooks boldly sat Durant at the start of the fourth period despite having few other reliable scoring options. It was a decision that didn't take long to backfire, as the Grizzlies started the final frame on a 5-0 run to tie the game 35 seconds in.
It was a back-and-forth game from there, and the Thunder never led by more than two again.
Now, the Thunder must go to Memphis and try to do what the Grizzlies just did.
“It's the first team to four,” Brooks said. “It's 1-1. They did a great job. They came into our building and got a win. Now we have to go into their building and get a win. Is it impossible? Absolutely not.”