We've seen quite a bit in this OKC Thunder-Memphis Grizzlies series

BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: May 14, 2011
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We've seen so much in the Western Conference semifinal playoff series between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies:

We've seen Interstate 40 open, closed and re-opened.

We've seen the Mississippi River rise to a near-record crest in Memphis.

We've seen fan support rise to record levels in Oklahoma City.

We've seen blowouts, comebacks, one overtime and three overtimes.

We've seen a noon start and a 12:40 a.m. finish.

We've seen neither team lead the series by more than one game.

We've seen young legs become tired legs.

We've seen several double-digits leads blown by both teams.

We've seen the Thunder bench outscore the other team's starters and also their own starters.

We've seen subs who probably should be starting, and starters who probably should be subbing.

We've seen five Memphis players score in double-digits in the same game on four occasions, and also have seen a game where only one Memphis player reached double-digits.

We've seen only one team (OKC) shoot 50 percent or better from the field in a game.

We've seen Memphis shoot less than 40 percent in three straight games.

We've seen first-team All-NBA pick Kevin Durant shoot 76.9 percent from the free-throw line, which is 11.3 percent lower than his career average.

We've seen backup Grizzlies center Hamed Haddadi shoot 83.3 percent from the line, which is 18.0 percent higher than his career average.

We've seen second-team All-NBA pick Russell Westbrook maligned and praised, sometimes in the span of two possessions.

We've seen third-team All-NBA pick Zach Randolph look unstoppable, and also look downright average.



THUNDER VS. GRIZZLIES

GAME 1

GRIZZLIES 114, THUNDER 101

(May 1; Oklahoma City Arena)

* Recap: Just 37 hours removed from eliminating the No. 1-seeded San Antonio Spurs, the Grizzlies literally shoved the Thunder aside with a dominating inside performances from Zach Randolph (34 points, 10 rebounds) and Marc Gasol (20 points and 13 rebounds).

* Lesson: In case there was any doubt before the series, Memphis is no No. 8 seed. The Thunder has some adjustments to make, pronto.

GAME 2

THUNDER 111, GRIZZLIES 102

(May 3; Oklahoma City Arena)

* Recap: As convincing as Memphis was in the opener, OKC was equally convincing behind Kevin Durant (26 points), Russell Westbrook (24 points, six assists), James Harden (21 points; 11 for 11 from the free-throw line) and Eric Maynor (15 points; 6 for 7 from the field).

* Lesson: The Thunder shoved back. The defensive adjustments worked well. More than anything, the energy was there for OKC.

GAME 3

GRIZZLIES 101, THUNDER 93 (OT)

(May 7; FedExForum)

* Recap: Sticking with the game plan and out to prove Game 1 never should have happened, the Thunder led by 16 points with 16 minutes left. But in a monster meltdown by OKC, the Grizzlies close out regulation with a 15-4 run. The Thunder gets toasted in OT.

* Lesson: One of the worst losses of the season, particularly under the circumstances. OKC's confidence figures to be severely tested.

GAME 4

THUNDER 133, GRIZZLIES 123 (3 OT)

(May 9; FedExForum)

* Recap: Still stinging from its Game 3 collapse, the Thunder fell behind by 18 points midway through the second quarter. OKC stabilized, took control, lost control late in regulation and eventually re-took control in a triple-overtime thriller that lasted three hours, 52 minutes.

* Lesson: One of the best victories of the season, particularly under the circumstances. Grizzlies stole one. Thunder stole one back.

GAME 5

THUNDER 99, GRIZZLIES 72

(May 11; Oklahoma City Arena)

* Recap: In the most dominating performance of the series, the Thunder gains momentum in the second quarter and steamrolls a Memphis team that looks fatigued, overmatched and appears to be near surrender. No Oklahoma City starter plays in the entire fourth quarter.

* Lesson: The Grizzlies got overwhelmed and the Thunder seems ready to seal the deal in Game 6 to advance against Dallas.

GAME 6

GRIZZLIES 95, THUNDER 83

(May 13; FedExForum)

* Recap: The Thunder starts pounding nails into the Memphis coffin, taking a 13-point lead late in the first half, but there was no quit in the Grizzlies. Memphis became energized and dominated after intermission to force OKC to return home for Game 7 on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

* Lesson: If OKC could have finished what it started, Sunday would be Game 1 of the Western Conference finals rather than Game 7 of the semis.

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