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Thunder fights back to even with an epic comeback of its own

by Jenni Carlson Published: May 10, 2011

MEMPHIS, Tenn — What a weird, strange trip this was for the Thunder.

The boys in blue came to Memphis and lost a game they weren't supposed to lose, then won a game they weren't supposed to win.

Two days after an epic meltdown, Oklahoma City authored its own classic comeback.

Thunder 133, Grizzlies 123.

In triple overtime.

And you thought that game on Saturday was crazy. The Thunder blowing a 16-point, second-half lead was nothing compared to what went down Monday night.

Down 18 points, the Thunder won by 10 points.

In triple overtime.

“Words can't describe the emotions,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said.

With the Mississippi River cresting and the nation watching the water rushing a few blocks from the FedExForum, the Thunder and the Grizzlies did their best to turn the attention their way.

The Thunder started Monday night like it finished Saturday afternoon.

Playing awful offense.

These guys scored 16 points in the first quarter — that's right, 16 points — and remember, they happen to have the NBA's scoring champion on their roster.

When the Grizzlies opened up that 18-point lead midway through the second quarter, the Thunder had been outscored 67-30 going back to the midway point of the fourth quarter in Game 3.

That is only 30 points in more than a half of basketball.

That ain't going to cut it.

The dagger? The shot that put the Grizzlies up 18 point was from O.J. Mayo as the shot clock wound down. It was off balance. It was desperation. It still found the bottom of the net.

You had a feeling that maybe this wasn't the Thunder's night. Maybe it wasn't this team's series either.

Slowly but surely, Oklahoma City clawed their way back into it, and like Saturday's game had plenty of goats, Monday night's had lots of heroes.

Daequan Cook hit a couple threes. James Harden made some big-time plays on both ends of the floor. Russell Westbrook was downright amazing.

And when the Thunder pulled within four points at halftime, you knew this game was far from over.

Who could've guessed just how far it was from over?

The Thunder built a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter that it promptly blew. It built a seven-point in the first overtime that it blew, too.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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