Gasol's tip-in gives Grizzlies win over Thunder

Phil Stukenborg, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

MEMPHIS -- Marc Gasol tipped in a Zach Randolph shot with 0.9 seconds left in overtime to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 90-89 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night at FedExForum.
Gasol scored five of his 14 points in overtime and his game-winning tip followed a driving layup by Russell Westbrook with 13.6 seconds left that gave the Thunder an 89-88 lead.
"I thought Zach's shot was going in, but I just crashed the boards and got lucky," said Gasol, whose tip bounced several times on the rim before falling through the net.
Kevin Durant scored 32 points and Russell Westbrook added 20 to lead the Thunder, who lost back-to-back games for only the fourth time this season.
Mike Conley scored a season-high 24 points to lead the Grizzlies, who extended their home winning streak to nine games, and Jerryd Bayless had 20 points, including a 3-pointer that sent the game into overtime. Randolph struggled offensively going 6 of 23 from the field, but had a game-high 18 rebounds.
The Grizzlies (46-21) beat the Thunder (50-19) for the second time in three meetings this season.
"Every win in the NBA is emotional, but when you play the best team with the best record (in its division) then it's definitely a charged-up atmosphere," said Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins. "It was just an exciting basketball game for everybody and we were fortunate to get a win."
Neither team shot well. The Grizzlies were 32 of 89 (36 percent) from the field and the Thunder were 30 of 84 (35.7 percent). Memphis had a 54-46 advantage rebounding.
"Both teams played extremely hard and physical," said Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks. "It was hard to get baskets. It was hard to get into our offense, but I love the fact that our guys battled."
Conley said he was encouraged the Grizzlies were able to battle through a difficult shooting night and force overtime.
"It was huge just to get to overtime," he said. "And in the overtime Marc was able to make a few baskets. We were trying to get him some good looks."
Durant took over in the third quarter to give the Thunder their first lead of the game. Oklahoma City trailed 50-42 when Durant became a one-man scoring show, scoring 15 straight, including two on a short bank with 29.6 seconds to go in the quarter that gave the Thunder a 57-56 advantage. Durant scored 15 of his team's 19 third-quarter points.
Durant added his 16th and 17th consecutive points early in the fourth quarter to give the Thunder a 59-58 lead and set the stage for a back-and-fourth final period and overtime.
Memphis led 67-64 on a 3-pointer by Bayless four minutes later, but the Thunder regained the lead, 68-67, on a follow by Durant and the lead continued to change hands. Kevin Martin's 3-pointer from the left wing with 1:26 to go gave Oklahoma City its biggest lead, 78-72, but the Thunder was unable to close it out.
With the Grizzlies trailing 83-80, Bayless buried a 3-pointer with 3.7 seconds left in regulation to force overtime. Durant had the ball in the closing seconds after a Thunder timeout but lost control as the buzzer sounded.
One night after dropping a 114-104 decision at home to Denver, the Thunder struggled from the outset. Leading the NBA with a 106.7 points-per-game average, the Thunder shot 22 percent (14-of-18) in the first quarter and 34 percent (13-of-38) in the first half and trailed 44-38.
Durant, the league's top scorer with a 28.4 average, and Westbrook, averaging 23.4, went 6-of-20 in the first half. Westbrook missed his six shot attempts in the first quarter.
The Grizzlies took advantage of Oklahoma City's shooting problems to build several double-digit leads in the opening half. Memphis led 41-31 on a Gasol driving layup with 3:28 left in the second quarter, but Westbrook's short jumper at the buzzer trimmed the lead to six points.
NOTES: Grizzlies forward Darrell Arthur missed his ninth straight game with neck and back soreness. Arthur has been limited to 46 of the team's 67 games this season because of various injuries. ... Since the start of the 2011-12 season, the Thunder has a 29-6 record in games played after a loss, the best record in the NBA during the span. Oklahoma City is 14-3 following a loss this season. ... Gasol entered Wednesday's game having averaged 17.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists in his previous 12 starts. He scored 20 or more points in seven of those games and the Grizzlies are 12-3 this season when Gasol scores at least 20. ... The Thunder entered the game ranked No. 1 in the NBA in scoring at 106.7 points a game. The Grizzlies entered ranked No. 1 in points allowed at 89.2. ... Gasol and Westbrook were involved in a first-quarter pushing/shoving incident that led to a Westbrook technical foul. ... Conley scored 20 or more points for the ninth time this season. Memphis is 9-0 in those games.

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