Thunder, Grizzlies set to square off again

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 4, 2013 at 5:52 pm •  Published: May 4, 2013
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The Thunder wouldn't make Perkins available to reporters after their practice Saturday.

"We've got to be the team that hits first in this series," Durant said. "It's going to be a tough and fun series."

The Grizzlies won two of the three regular-season meetings, with their only loss coming in Oklahoma City just after top scorer Rudy Gay had been traded away — and before Tayshaun Prince and other newly acquired players had arrived.

The only meeting since then was won by Memphis on its home floor by a single point in overtime.

Of course, much has changed even since then. Westbrook, Oklahoma City's All-Star point guard, is out for the rest of the playoffs after knee surgery. The Thunder went 2-2 without him, winning at Houston on Friday night to close out that series in six games.

"They're not just a one-man team," Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said. "They're a good team, and we have to go play and earn whatever we get in this series. I feel good about our team simply because where we're at mentally and physically. We're in good health and we've been playing pretty decent. That's why I feel pretty good about my team.

"I'm not worried about who they have or don't have. We have to go out ... and play according to our abilities."

Memphis became the first team ever to lose the first two games of a playoff series, then win each of the next four by double figures.

"We've got to refocus our attention to another really good team," point guard Mike Conley said. "We have got great incentive to play. This team has handled us and knocked us out two years ago. We have great games against them. It's another one of those teams — in order to achieve the goals we want to get, we have to go through them."

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AP Sports Writer Teresa M. Walker in Memphis, Tenn., contributed to this report.