“The key to the game was their bench scored 46 points to our bench's 29 points,” said Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins.
Collison's efforts on Randolph was a big-time difference-maker. When Ibaka had to be taken to the locker room late in the first half, Collison started the third quarter when Ibaka did not immediately return after bumping knees. Despite less length to affect Randolph's rainbow jumpers, Collison was able to use strength and savvy to disrupt Randolph's rhythm.
Collison played 19 minutes, 13 seconds in the second half. Randolph played 20 minutes, 51 seconds in the final 24 minutes. Over that span, with Collison hounding him throughout much of it, Randolph went 0-for-5 from the floor and had all of his seven points come at the foul line.
“We did really nothing different, but we were more engaged as a team,” Brooks said of defending Randolph. “All five guys were on a string. We did knock him off his spots. He is one of the best in the game at that position. I thought Nick did a good job of just keeping a body on him and not giving him easy points around the paint.”
Turnovers were again an issue for the Thunder. Oklahoma City had 11 at the half, leading to 12 Grizzlies points, and finished with 16 for the game, leading to 17 Memphis points. But this time, the Thunder forced the Grizzlies into giving it away. After watching Memphis execute effortlessly in Game 1 and turn the ball over only eight times, the Thunder got the Grizzlies to give it up 16 times Tuesday and converted those into 20 points at the other end.
Game 3 is now set for Saturday afternoon at Memphis, where the Thunder is expecting a raucous crowd.
“After a tough Game 1, of course we wanted to try to win on our home floor,” said Kevin Durant, who led all scorers with 26 points. “We want to try to go to Memphis and get one as well. We got to come back and be prepared and come in locked in and practice and work on what we did wrong in this game. It's all about progressing, and I think that's what we'll do in these next few days.”
Postgame Thoughts: What did you think?