MEMPHIS, Tenn. — In a second-round playoff series two years ago, the Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies played a triple-overtime thriller.
The Thunder's 133-123 victory wound up tying the series at 2-2 heading back to OKC and the Thunder went on to win the Western Conference semifinal 4-3.
Much was written and said about that instant classic before Game 4, which was staged Monday night at FedExForum under the exact same circumstances.
Once again, OKC trailed 2-1 and was looking to even the series before heading home.
Monday's Game 4 required only one overtime and all it did was extend the Thunder's suffering with a 103-97 loss to give Memphis a 3-1 lead in this best-of-seven series.
“I'm just glad it didn't go three overtimes,” Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said afterward.
With the Thunder just one loss away from elimination, Game 5 is Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Game 6, of necessary, would be Friday night at FedExForum.
If Game 7 is necessary, it would be Sunday at The Peake.
Before Game 4 tipped off, three Memphis players stood side-by-side at center court in recognition of being announced as members of the NBA All-Defensive teams earlier in the day.
A sellout crowd of 18,119 at FedExForum roared its approval for former Oklahoma State standout Tony Allen (first team), point guard Mike Conley (second team) and center Marc Gasol (second team).
The Thunder promptly jumped out to a 29-18 lead after the first period, shooting 55.6 percent from the field in the process. OKC shot 53.8 percent for the first half and led 56-48 at intermission.