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Thunder blows out Grizzlies in Game 5 to take 3-2 series lead

BY DARNELL MAYBERRY, Staff Writer, Modified: May 11, 2011 at 11:20 pm •  Published: May 11, 2011

Most importantly, the Thunder applied lessons of teamwork, defensive tenacity and a total 48 minutes. All three were missing in action at times on the last road trip. On Wednesday, the Thunder held the Grizzlies to series-low 35.9 percent shooting while racking up a series-high 22 assists. Only one Grizzlies player scored in double digits, Marc Gasol leading Memphis with 15 points.

“Our guys have always had the ability to stay focused on the game at hand,” Brooks said. “When we've had some tough losses, we've always bounced back. When we've had some big wins, we've always stayed focused. I thought that's what we did.”

The Thunder led 46-35 at the half after outscoring the Grizzlies 29-18 in the second quarter. A balanced effort, better ball control and some timely bench play made the difference. After having just four players score in the first quarter, the Thunder had eight players score in the second period.

Oklahoma City turned the tide with a quick 7-0 run that turned a one-point deficit into a 37-31 lead with 3:47 left in the half. The half ended with the Thunder lengthening the spurt to a 16-4 surge over the final five minutes.

It quickly got out of reach from there.

The Thunder held the Grizzlies to 12 of 36 shooting (33.3 percent) in the second half and outscored Memphis 53-37 over the final 24 minutes.

“We did everything we were supposed to do on the defensive end,” said Eric Maynor.

Maynor said the Thunder was due for a shutdown defensive performance like this.

But this storm started brewing Saturday.

“We're seeing all different types of scenarios playing in this series,” said Durant. “So we can handle anything.”