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Thunder might have found its No. 1 rival -- the Memphis Grizzlies

Oklahoma City and Memphis have played some tough, emotional games, including seven-game playoff series two years ago.
by Jenni Carlson Published: November 14, 2012

But the yelling didn't stop.

Then, they heard things hitting the walls and the doors of the hallway. The thudding continued for several seconds.

All told, the commotion lasted at least 20 seconds.

When our man Money went into the hallway, Oklahoma City police officers and arena security staffers were overheard saying Perkins and Randolph had been the parties involved.

Oklahoma City police said no altercation occurred, and nothing is under investigation.

Fair enough.

But something happened.

And here we thought this rivalry was hot already.

That playoff series two years ago was a classic. The Grizzlies stole a game on Thunder hardwood. The Thunder had a huge lead that it blew and lost the game. The Grizzlies had its own big lead blown in a triple overtime thriller.

And that was just in the first four games of the series.

Even last year's regular-season games were fantastic.

“We've always had great physical matchups against this team,” Brooks said. “We've always been physical with each other.”

No doubt about that.

These two teams are different yet similar. The Thunder has the slick, smooth young guns while the Grizzlies have the “Grit Grind”, and yet, both are small market teams scratching and clawing not only to make it but also to shine in the NBA.

That they are from similar cities — hardworking, blue-collar places — only adds to the shared admiration and animosity.

It's like they're brothers fighting for dibs at the dinner table.

All of that has made for a great rivalry so far. Wednesday night just took it a whole other level.

The Thunder and Grizzlies meet again on Jan. 31 in Oklahoma City.

Sign me up for that one.

Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. You can also like her at, follow her at or view her personality page at

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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