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Thunder notebook: Memphis has been living at the line

by Berry Tramel Published: May 14, 2013

/articleid/3811909/1/pictures/2052935">Photo - Oklahoma City's Kendrick Perkins (5) goes up to block the final shot in regulation by Memphis' Zach Randolph (50) during Game 4 of the second-round NBA basketball playoff series between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn., Monday, May 13, 2013. Memphis won 103-97 in overtime. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Kendrick Perkins (5) goes up to block the final shot in regulation by Memphis' Zach Randolph (50) during Game 4 of the second-round NBA basketball playoff series between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn., Monday, May 13, 2013. Memphis won 103-97 in overtime. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

Durant played 48 minutes in a 103-97 overtime loss in Game 4 on Monday night and once again was asked about his fatigue.

Was he tired?

“It's midnight, and my bedtime is usually around 12 o'clock, so I'm a little sleepy,” Durant said, forcing a smile. “But other than that, I'm good.”

IBAKA COOLS

Serge Ibaka had a great first half in Game 4 with 13 points and 10 rebounds. But in the second half and in overtime, Ibaka made just one of five shots and finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds.

Ibaka's shooting slump seemed to be more a breakdown of the Thunder offense than Ibaka going back into a funk.

“Serge did a great job,” Brooks said. “He's making shots. That's what he's done all year. It's unfortunate he's had a couple of bad games. He still competed. He still did a lot of things to make them miss. Sometimes, when you don't make your shots, you kind of take it out on the defensive end. He's never done that. He's still competed. I'm glad that he got rewarded.”

SHOOTING SLIPS

With 4:10 left in the second quarter of Game 4, the Thunder led 46-29. At that point, the Thunder's shooting percentage was .567. Memphis' shooting percentage was .324.

The remainder of the game, the Thunder made just 17 of 49 shots (.347). The Grizzlies made 24 of 52 (.462).

That's how a team that led in shooting by .24 percentage points ended up with only a 43.0 to 40.4 percent advantage.

“They came out firing,” said Memphis coach Lionel Hollins. “The second half, we came out and we got after them. We kept scratching and clawing. We found some offense.”

QUOTABLE

Brooks on how tight the series against Memphis has been: “Every game has been right down to the last two minutes, so that gives you hope. But we knew going into the series that we had enough to win. We expect to win. And if we don't, it's going to be disappointing.”

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
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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