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Thunder-Grizzlies: Grading Memphis' 100-99 overtime win over Oklahoma City in Game 5

REPORT CARD — The series heads back to Memphis for Game 6 on Thursday with the Grizzlies up 3-2 and poised to close it out. The grades reflect what the Thunder did Tuesday to wind up in this position.
by Berry Tramel Published: April 29, 2014

3-point shooting: B. The Thunder made 12 of 31 from long distance, an acceptable 38.7 percent. Caron Butler made four of eight, including a four-point play with 2:40 left in the game, when the Thunder trailed by five. Kevin Durant three of eight. Reggie Jackson two of three. The Thunder made its first five 3-pointers but missed its final five. And 31 3-pointers aren’t too many. The Grizzlies don’t let you shoot many good 2-pointers.

Quarter starts: D. Memphis opened the first quarter making five of its first six shots for a 10-2 lead. The Grizzlies opened the second quarter making their first four shots and scoring on eight of their first 11 possessions to take a 48-38 lead. Memphis opened the third quarter scoring on six of its first seven possessions for a 66-51 lead. Only in the fourth quarter did the Thunder start stingy on defense, getting six straight stops to complete a comeback from 20 points down. Even the start of overtime was shaky – Mike Miller nailed 3-pointers on Memphis’ first two possessions.

Guarding Miller: D. Memphis sharpshooter Mike Miller got loose far too often. Miller sank three 3-pointers in an eight-minute span of the second quarter, during which the Grizzlies expanded a 34-30 lead to 55-43. Then Miller hit the overtime treys. Miller is no threat to drive. But you can’t leave him open. The Thunder did, far too often.

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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