Thunder notebook: Memphis has been living at the line

by Berry Tramel Published: May 14, 2013

Memphis ranked 16th in the NBA in free-throw attempts at 21.3 per game during the regular season, but is leading all playoff teams in attempts at 31.9 per game.

Meanwhile, the Thunder was second during the regular season at 26.8 attempts, but is eighth in the postseason at 24.4.

The Grizzlies have taken 20 more free throws in their four games against OKC.

Thunder four-time All-Star Kevin Durant shot 27 times in Game 4 on Monday night and went to the free-throw line only once after getting fouled, and that came with 1:48 left in regulation. Durant's lone previous free-throw attempt came on a defensive 3-second call.

“We didn't get to the free-throw line,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “KD, basically two free throws. He's an aggressive player. I have to do a better job of putting him in a better position where he gets to the paint and draws some fouls and gets to the free-throw line.

“When both teams compete defensively, you need every point you can get, and sometimes those are the free throws that we usually get that we didn't get.”

TWO GAMES DOWN

OKC is no stranger to coming back from being two games down in a playoff series.

The Thunder trails 3-1 against Memphis heading into Game 5 on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

OKC trailed 2-0 to San Antonio in last year's Western Conference Finals, then won four straight after snapping the Spurs' 20-game winning streak.

“You always find yourself, who you are. We have the ability to find ourself (Wednesday) night,” Brooks said. “We want to play in Memphis (in Game 6 on Friday). I know our guys. I've been with 'em quite a bit. They're looking forward to this game. We want to be able to win in front of our home fans and have another game in Memphis, see what we can do there.”

BEDTIME NEARS

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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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