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Oklahoma City Thunder: Kevin Durant scores 27 points as OKC beats Memphis Grizzlies

Kevin Durant scored a game-high 27 points to lead Oklahoma City to a 106-89 win over Memphis on Thursday night inside Chesapeake Energy Arena. But even a 17-point win somehow was filled with drama, both on the court and on the sideline in the second half.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: January 31, 2013

/articleid/3750787/1/pictures/1941474">Photo - Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant (35) looks to get past Memphis' Darrell Arthur (00) during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City,  Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013.Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant (35) looks to get past Memphis' Darrell Arthur (00) during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013.Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

Randolph and Gasol combined to score just six points on 2-for-15 shooting in the first half and finished with only 25 points on a combined 32 shots. Randolph started 0-for-9 from the field and didn't score his first point until knocking down a free throw with 7:54 remaining in the third following a Kevin Durant technical foul — Durant's eighth of the season.

It brought the Grizzlies within 20.

Randolph's first field goal came 30 seconds later.

Serge Ibaka and Nick Collison tag-teamed and took Randolph out of the game with a physical brand of defense for which the Grizzlies' All-Star forward had no answer. Both bodied up on Randolph, cutting off his airspace and not allowing him to take his time making decisions while working from the high post. Whenever he did get a shot off, Randolph was forced to hoist it over the hands of either Ibaka or Collison.

“They played hard,” said Sefolosha. “Every time we do that as a team we're good. Those guys have played him a bunch of times, so I think they know how to play them.”

Randolph did have 12 rebounds before intermission, six on the offensive end. But he couldn't convert any of his second chances into scores. It plagued the Grizzlies all half, as they converted on just two of 13 second-chance opportunities. Randolph finished with a game-high 19 rebounds, including nine on the offensive end, or five more than the Thunder had as a team.

Aside from the silliness on the sidelines, it was the Thunder's lone cause for concern.

“I don't know how many he ended up with, but he had a lot of them,” Brooks said. “Other than that, I thought our defense was solid. To keep a team in the 30s (field goal shooting percentage) is outstanding defense.”

by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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