Oklahoma City Thunder: Kevin Durant, OKC defense key Game 1 win

KD came up big in the Thunder's Game 1 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies, but so did the Thunder defense.
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: May 5, 2013

Do the Grizzlies have the NBA's best defense?

“They're one of the best,” said Martin, who quickly added, “along with us. This series is going to come to defense.”

The Thunder trailed 7-0 at the game's outset, but despite missing 12 of its first 13 shots, but only trailed 7-6 thanks to its defense.

OKC ran hot and cold from the field, shooting 22.7 percent in the first quarter and 36.5 percent in the third, then countering with 57.1 percent in the second period and 58.8 percent in the fourth.

“Everybody did a good job defensively, we locked in,” coach Scott Brooks said. “Offensively, we had some good moments and we had some so-so moments.”

The game was decided in the fourth quarter when the Thunder overcame a nine-point deficit thanks to 12 points from Durant, plus six points from Martin and Derek Fisher.

Thanks also can be given to four rebounds, three assists, one steal and one blocked shot from Durant in the final period, plus two blocks from Serge Ibaka and a key steal from Fisher that directly led to Durant's shot with 11.1 seconds left. There even was a blocked shot from Martin, whose name is rarely mentioned when discussing defense.

In the final period, the Grizzlies shot just 33.3 percent and committed four of their 12 turnovers.

Did Memphis let one get away?

“No, they earned it. They earned it,” Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said. “Every game is like that. One team has something and the other team comes back and gets it. It's part of the game of basketball. We had some plays we'd like to take back.”

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