Grit ... grind ... thou name is the Memphis Grizzlies!
After a heart-breaking loss in Game 1 that easily could (and probably should) have the Thunder down 2-0, the Grizzlies responded with an impressive 99-93 victory to even the best of seven series at 1-1.
Led by the steady hand of Mike Conley, who was one assist away from a triple-double with an impressive stat line of 26 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists, the Grizz were determined not to let another late lead disappear. Marc Gasol added 24 points and provided a major presence in the paint that Oklahoma City just could not match.
Neither team led by more than seven points in a game that seemed destined to go down to the wire once again.
Game 3 is Saturday in Memphis at FedExForum, aka "The Grindhouse."
Today's NBA defenses like to avoid allowing open corner 3-pointers, but the Grizzlies obviously made the decision to let anyone not named Kevin Durant beat them late. The result? One made field goal during the last five minutes for the Thunder.
After hitting the key baskets in the opener, NBA All-Star Durant couldn't provide an answer for OKC. He missed his last three shots, including a pair of 3-point attempts, but still finished with a very respectable 36 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists.
Contributions were wide spread for the Grizz late. Gasol converted a 3-point play and a put back inside against Durant, and Quincy Pondexter hit a fourth-chance jumper – after one offensive rebound by Gasol and two by Randolph – and then hit a 3-pointer in transition during a 7-0 burst that put Memphis ahead.
The Grizz get a well-deserved three days of rest, with the next game on Saturday. The FedExForum should be rocking and rolling!