Thunder-Grizzlies: Game 5 was one for those who say TV dramas are dead

COMMENTARY — Memphis’ 100-99 victory in Game 5 drove home the point that the Thunder-Grizzlies series is the greatest drama of the postseason so far.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: April 30, 2014 at 10:47 am •  Published: April 30, 2014


photo - Memphis' Mike Miller (13) signals for no basket as Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka (9), Reggie Jackson (15) and Thabo Sefolosha (25) celebrate a possible game-wining shot by Ibaka at the end of overtime near Memphis' Tayshaun Prince (21) during Game 5 in the first round of the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, April 29, 2014. Instant replay showed Ibaka's shot came after the buzzer. Memphis won 100-99 in overtime. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Memphis' Mike Miller (13) signals for no basket as Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka (9), Reggie Jackson (15) and Thabo Sefolosha (25) celebrate a possible game-wining shot by Ibaka at the end of overtime near Memphis' Tayshaun Prince (21) during Game 5 in the first round of the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, April 29, 2014. Instant replay showed Ibaka's shot came after the buzzer. Memphis won 100-99 in overtime. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

Sure enough, no basket.

The overtime was more drama, with bit actor Mike Miller making an appearance. The veteran sharpshooter hit the Grizzlies’ first two baskets of the overtime, threes that were reminiscent of his big spot duty in the NBA Finals when he was with the Heat a few years back.

But the Thunder battled back and looked ready to tie the game again with Durant at the line. After hitting the first of two free throws, he held the ball in his hands for the second free throw when referee Joey Crawford charged up the lane and demanded the ball back.

“I looked at KD and we were like, ‘What is Joey doing?’” Conley said.

Crawford wanted the scoreboard operator to make sure the proper number of team fouls were on the scoreboard. It’s a small thing, something he could’ve fixed later but something that he had every right within the rules to stop and rectify, but it will certainly add to Thunder fans’ disdain for the cue-ball headed Crawford.

He iced Durant.

“I was just trying to stay focus and knock the free throw down,” Durant said. “Unfortunately, I didn’t.”

But after a Memphis miss, OKC had one more shot. Durant clanked a three, but Serge Ibaka got a hand on the miss and tipped it back toward the basket. The ball fell through the hoop as the buzzer sounded. The Thunder mobbed Ibaka, and The Peake erupted.

The officials reviewed it and quickly determined that the ball was still touching Ibaka’s finger tips when the light around the backboard went on.

No good.

“They’re doing training on our coaching staff right now, too, because we’re all sweating through” dress shirts and suit jackets, Memphis coach Dave Joerger said.

I’m sure there have been better playoff series in the history of the NBA. All those years that the Celtics and Lakers battled, then all those years that the Bulls duked it out with the Pistons and the Knicks, there had to have been a series like this.

But there couldn’t have been one any better.

Episode 6 of this must-see-TV drama is Thursday in Memphis.

Don’t miss it.

Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.

by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
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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