The Memphis Grizzlies return home to the safe confines of FedEx Forum on Thursday night trying to close out the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Quarterfinals. Memphis blew a 20 point lead in game 5 late in the 3rd quarter in Oklahoma City on Tuesday night, but was able to escape with a 100-99 OT victory to take the 3-2 series lead.
The Grizzlies were leading 72-52 with just over 3:30 left in the 3rd quarter in Game 5 on Tuesday night, and saw Oklahoma City go on an 18-4 run to end the half. After the 3rd quarter ended, Memphis connected on only 3 field goals in the 4th quarter, but slowed the Thunder offense down just enough to force OT. OKC only led by one point in the game and that came after a Kevin Durant 3 pointer giving the Thunder a 79-78 lead in the 4th.
Memphis held Oklahoma City to under 40% shooting for the 4th consecutive game which was the longest streak the Thunder have endured this season. Russell Westbrook had a triple-double for the Thunder, but was 10-of-31 shooting, and Kevin Durant struggled again going 10-of-24.
An unlikely hero emerged for Memphis the other day and that was Mike Miller. Miller connected on five 3’s and was 6-of-11 from the floor finishing with 21 points. He picked up the pace for Memphis in the 2nd half as Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph connected on only 2-of-14 shots. Zach Randolph did return to form on Tuesday night scoring 20 points and hauling in 10 boards while connecting on 8-of-15 shots. Randolph continued to struggle at the line hitting only 4 of his 7 attempts.
A stat worth noting: The Grizzlies are 4-0 in game 6’s since the 2011 playoffs, and are 0-2 in game 7’s. Memphis will want to beat the Thunder tonight to avoid another letdown in the prior two game 7’s from 2011 and 2012. The Grizzlies are 17-15 in their prior 32 matchups with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
T.V: (National) T.N.T. – 7 p.m. CST. (Local) – Fox Sports Tennessee
Radio: 92.9 FM ESPN in Memphis