Memphis point guard Mike Conley will play against the Thunder in Game 7 on Saturday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The only question is how much Conley has to give.
Conley was removed from Thursday night’s Game 6 with a hamstring injury. He was taken to the locker room but later returned to the floor.
Conley has been diagnosed with a right hamstring strain, an injury that first occurred during a regular season game in Phoenix near the conclusion of the regular season.
“You’re not supposed to play through it, they say,” Conley told reporters Friday. “I’ve got deaf ears right now. I’m going to get treatment on it and be as good as I can be.”
If Conley is a late scratch or limited, the Grizzlies will lean on Beno Udrih, who was the team’s third string point guard two days before the series started. He was elevated to Conley’s primary backup when the NBA suspended Nick Calathes 20 games for violating the league’s anti-drug policy.
“I’m comfortable playing Beno more minutes,” Memphis coach Dave Joerger said. “If I find matchups I’m comfortable with, I could play (Conley) and Beno together some.”
DURANT’S MOTHER ACCEPTS APOLOGY
Kevin Durant’s mother, Wanda Pratt, released a statement on Twitter forgiving The Oklahoman for its headline on the cover of the sports section Thursday
“On behalf of Kevin, our family, and the many fans that were offended by yesterday’s headline, I extend forgiveness to the Oklahoman,” Pratt wrote.
Durant again weighed in on the headline controversy Friday.
“Controversy? I wouldn’t say it’s a controversy. Just people doing their job, man,” Durant said. “My mom, brothers and all my friends were so upset, and I was just, like, ‘it comes with the territory.’ It’s important to understand that. I have to play better. I just got to look myself in the mirror.
“But the support here in Oklahoma City, I didn’t really need it. I wasn’t down on myself. But people are just unbelievable. I was riding home from the airport and I see an OKC loves KD billboard. I was thinking they took it a little too far. I really didn’t care about it. It was just a part of the game and I understand it. But the support I got from everybody, from my friends and family to everybody I associate myself with really showed me why I love them so much and I appreciate them.”
DURANT’S SHOOTING STRUGGLES CONTINUE
For the second time in six games in this series, Durant on Thursday did not make a 3-pointer despite taking at least six attempts.
Durant was 0-for-6 in Game 6, dropping his 3-point percentage in this series to 23 percent. He’s 12-for-48 from that distance.
“I don’t really care,” Durant said Friday when asked why his 3-point shot hasn’t been falling. “I’m going to keep shooting it if it’s open. Let it fly.”
In the last four games, Durant is 4-for-29 from 3-point range.
OKC GETS GAME 6 BY DOING LITTLE THINGS
The Thunder’s 104-84 win in Game 6 was the result of OKC improving several things that had been a struggle in the previous losses.
Durant and Russell Westbrook played well on the same night, Reggie Jackson provided scoring punch off the bench and the Thunder’s defense was dominant all night.
But Thunder coach Scott Brooks said his team’s ability to do the little things were every bit as important.
“We did a good job of really attacking the little things: boxing out, closing out under control, playing with a purpose on the offensive end,” Brooks said. “And then we made some shots. When you don’t make shots, you still want to defend and compete. We’ve done that.”
GAME 7 TICKET PRICES SOAR
Tickets for the Thunder-Grizzlies on Saturday night are the most expensive on the secondary market for a Thunder home game since Game 2 of the 2012 NBA Finals, according to SeatGeek.
Game 7 is going for an average of $241.
Game 2 of the 2012 NBA Finals drew an average ticket price of $731.
Game 7 of the Thunder-Grizzlies series also is the most expensive of Saturday’s three Game 7s throughout the NBA. The Warriors-Clippers game in Los Angeles has an average ticket price of $217, while the Hawks-Pacers game in Indianapolis has an average ticket price of $73.
Derek Fisher on Durant’s Game 6 performance — “I think he embraced the moment and the opportunity that was before him and before our team. That’s what the great ones do. In the face of struggle or adversity or doubt, or people questioning things about you, you crack a smile and you go out and you put on one of your best performances out there. That’s why he’s going to be the MVP in my opinion.”