All the Thunder wanted to do was extend the series.
Take it back to Memphis and see what happens.
“It's not hoping for a miracle to win one game at home,” coach Scott Brooks said at his team's morning shootaround.
In the end, it wasn't meant to be.
A season that started off so promising, with high hopes and championship dreams, was cut short Wednesday night, derailed by the harsh realities of professional basketball, first an untimely trade and then a tragic injury.
After 93 games, 65 ending with Oklahoma City on the winning side, the obstacles finally became too much to bear.
The Memphis Grizzlies are now the team that's moving on, advancing to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in their franchise's history following an 88-84 series-clinching win in Game 5 inside Chesapeake Energy Arena.
For the Thunder, it was an ending that felt all-too familiar.
After winning Game 1 against the Grizzlies, the Thunder dropped the next four, bowing out of these playoffs in the same fashion the team did in last year's NBA Finals.
This time, there was no James Harden, the sensational sixth man who was traded five days before the start of the regular season.
This time, there was no Russell Westbrook, the perennial All-Star point guard who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Thunder's second game of the first round.
“Even though they had a serious injury, they fought and battled,” said Memphis coach Lionel Hollins. “They won the first round when they could have very easily lost that one. But they showed the heart of a champion, and that's the reason that they were the best team in the Western Conference all year.”
The final game was a fitting end to a season that both began and ended with frustration, confusion and anxiety.
Kevin Durant was the face of it, scoring 21 points on 5-for-21 shooting. His gave it his best, playing all 48 minutes, but his best efforts weren't enough.
“I thought he really wanted to carry his team,” Hollins said.
Without his All-Star sidekick, Durant couldn't do it alone.
The Thunder shot just 36.9 percent and was plagued by the same problems that prevented it from closing out the previous three games.
Oklahoma City turned the ball over 14 times, leading to 22 Grizzlies points, and watched role players struggle to step up in supply additional offense in Westbrook's absence.
“We had a really good season,” Durant said. “It was a joy playing for these guys. It was a joy playing for this great city. We came up short.
“Memphis is a really, really good team, and they made it tough on us every one of these games. I gave it all I had for my team. I left it all out there on the floor. I missed 16 shots, but I kept fighting and I kept being aggressive. That's all I can ask for.”
Zach Randolph led Memphis with a game-high 28 points and 14 rebounds. But he missed a pair of free throws with 11.8 seconds remaining and the Grizzlies nursing a tenuous two-point lead. It left the door open for the Thunder to tie it or win it.
Durant, however, missed a potentially game-tying 17-foot jumper with 4.9 seconds left to play.
“I made a good move,” Durant said. “I pulled up and missed the shot. I was just thinking, ‘Just try to get an open shot … I was able to get a good look. It was just too long.”
Game. Series. Season.