If you didn't stay up on Monday night, then you missed the best game of the NBA playoffs so far. The Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies played a three-overtime epic at FedEx Forum, with the Thunder coming out on top by a score of 133-123 to even the series at 2-2. There were many momentum shifts, several prayer shots to send the game deeper into the night, and a few moments that should end up as part of young stars' legacies.
There's no great way to describe the game to those who didn't watch -- it felt that unreal. But we can try to grasp the enormity of the game. What follows is a list of 19 crazy things that happened during it, some remembered from a breathless viewing and others noted with stats.
1. The Grizzlies led 37-19 with 8:21 remaining in the second quarter. A friend IM'd me to say that it "was over," although it's unclear if he was referring to the game or the entire series.
2. The Thunder cut the lead to four by the half.
3. Kevin Durant pulled off maybe the greatest dunk of his career shortly after the halftime break, crossing up Marc Gasol and serving up a facial on Zach Randolph.
4. Mike Conley hit a long 3-pointer over Kendrick Perkins to send the game in overtime. He shot just 2 of 12 from the field and 1 of 6 from deep for the game.
5. Durant complained to assistant coach Maurice Cheeks after the last OKC possession in regulation, presumably about how his team had looked away from him in the closing moments. For a player who usually plays the role of good soldier, it was a surprising moment of frustration.
6. After Conley and O.J. Mayo fouled out in the first OT, rookie point guard Grieves Vasquez hit a ludicrous off-balance three to send the game to another extra period.
7. Conley and Mayo both close out games in the Grizzlies backcourt. Their team went more than 10 minutes of the overtimes without either.
8. The length of the game forced the Memphis in-arena DJ to play a song recorded after 2003 for the first time in the playoffs.
9. Durant closed out the game with an electric triple-crossover jumper on Shane Battier. When he got the ball, the Thunder took over.
10. Four players went 50 minutes or more: Durant (57), Russell Westbrook (51), Marc Gasol (57), and Zach Randolph (56). James Harden just missed out with 49 minutes.
11. Durant scored 35 points on only 20 field goal attempts. He shot 18 free throws, making 16.
12. The Grizzlies shot just 36 percent from the field and took 10 fewer free throws than the Thunder. They survived by attempting 16 more field goals and making 37 of their 40 foul shots.
13. The much-maligned Westbrook was instrumental in the win, scoring 40 points on 15-of-33 shooting and, in perhaps a bigger story, turned it over only three times.
14. Three players fouled out: Conley, Mayo and Perkins. Starter Serge Ibaka replaced Perkins early in the third overtime after playing only 15 minutes with five fouls. He came in cold and hit a key basket as OKC took over the game.
15. Three starters played fewer than 20 minutes: Ibaka, Thabo Sefolosha and Sam Young.
16. Harden, a backup shooting guard, led all players with seven assists.
17. Gasol finished with 26 points and 21 rebounds, giving Memphis another 20/20 performance after Randolph's terrific Saturday. They are the first back-to-back 20/20 playoff lines by teammates in more than 30 years.
18. Nick Collison finished the game at +22. Tony Allen registered a -23, 10 points worse than any other Grizzly.
19. NBA TV is scheduled to air the game Tuesday afternoon at 1 ET. As of this writing, it's scheduled for one hour of airtime. The intern charged with editing that one down should quit. The job market's not that bad.
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Marc Gasol
- Oklahoma City Thunder
- Mike Conley
- Zach Randolph