So Les Griz came to town, and they dominated the proceedings: the Thunder never quite got on track, and Memphis scored a surprisingly-easy win at the Raincatcher Arena. Darnell Mayberry had tweeted that the Thunder were lucky to be down only ten at halftime, and he wasn’t kidding. The final was 114-101, and it could have been a lot worse than that.
In a way, this was reminiscent of how the Griz disposed of the San Antonio Spurs, winning the first game and thereby negating all that home-court advantage stuff. The things Memphis does best — scoring in the paint and collecting turnovers — they were happy to do today, to the tune of 52 points and 18 Thunder turns, which latter became 23 Grizzlies points. About the only thing Memphis didn’t do well was shoot the three-ball, and they didn’t have to: it was too easy to get into the lane.
Thirty-four points for Zach Randolph, who was apparently still on the same roll that finished off the Spurs Friday night. He also grabbed 10 rebounds. Next door, Marc Gasol had 13 boards and 20 points. Three other Grizzlies posted double figures. Memphis controlled the boards, 45-42; they even outdid the Thunder at the stripe, sinking 23 of 28. (Telltale statistic: the Griz turned the ball over only 7 times.)
The usual Thunder suspects got their usual numbers: Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka had double-doubles, Durant rolling up 33 points. Russell Westbrook had 29 points and eight rebounds and six assists — and seven turnovers. The Thunder in aggregate came up with only 16 assists, meaning that they weren’t moving the ball as well as they needed to. (The Griz managed 21.) And the OKC bench contributed only 16 points to the cause.
Game 2 is Tuesday night. The general consensus has been that the Thunder wins this series in six or seven; right now, I’m thinking the Griz pull this one out in six. If the Thunder have another game like this, maybe five.