Oklahoma City Thunder: Kevin Durant scores 33 points in Game 1 win over Grizzlies

Kevin Durant scored a game-high 33 points with eight rebounds and seven assists to lead Oklahoma City to a wire-to-wire 100-86 win over the Grizzlies in Game 1 on Saturday night inside Chesapeake Energy Arena.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: April 20, 2014

Kendrick Perkins, Serge Ibaka, Nick Collison and Steven Adams all played a role, taking turns standing up and turning away the Grizzlies’ physical two-pronged, low-post attack. That quartet, with the aid of Westbrook’s team-high 10 rebounds, also controlled the glass and limited Memphis to one shot. The Thunder out-rebounded the Grizzlies 51-41. Memphis finished with just nine second-chance points. The Grizzlies generated only one second-chance point in the first half.

The Thunder turned rebounding into transition opportunities, finishing the game with 32 fast break points.

The Thunder’s reserves pushed OKC’s lead to 20 points in the second quarter while Durant and Westbrook were on the bench. They confirmed in that stretch an advantage the Thunder was believed to have in the respective second units. Reggie Jackson scored or assisted on nine of Thunder points during the 11-4 run.

But things quickly unraveled after the break.

The Grizzlies outscored the Thunder 31-13 in the third quarter and held OKC to 3-for-16 shooting in the period.

Memphis started the third quarter on a 17-4 run, trimming a 22-point halftime deficit to nine by taking advantage of Thunder turnovers and breakdowns defensively. The Grizzles scored 10 points in the paint during that five-minute spurt. Seven points came off four OKC giveaways.

The Grizzlies’ comeback culminated with them coming as close as two points when Mike Miller rained in a 3-pointer with 8:46 left to play. The Thunder answered with a 13-1 run. Seven of those points came at the free throw line. Durant found Serge Ibaka under the basket for a dunk and three-point play, and Durant later splashed in a 3-pointer off a feed from Derek Fisher.

Grizzlies guard Beno Udrih snapped his team’s scoring drought with a jumper that  pulled Memphis within 87-75. Prior to that basket, the Grizzlies had missed five straight shots and turned it over twice.

Memphis never got closer than 10 points the rest of the way.

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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