Grizzlies hang on vs. Thunder, take 2-1 lead
Mike Conley scored five of his 20 points in overtime and the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 98-95 Thursday night in taking a 2-1 lead in their first-round Western Conference series.
The Associated Press
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Mike Conley scored five of his 20 points in overtime as the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 98-95 Thursday night to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round Western Conference series.
“Obviously, we’re happy with the win but disappointed at the way we handled that last (fourth) quarter,” Conley said. “We knew they were going to make runs. We knew they’d keep fighting because that’s what they do, and it’s the playoffs. They’re going to make runs. They’re going to make plays. They have two of the best players in the league.”
Still, the Grizzlies won their second straight overtime game this time after leading by 17 before going cold for most of the final 7:43 of regulation. Courtney Lee clinched the win, hitting 3 of 4 free throws in the final 10.9 seconds of overtime.
Game 4 is Saturday night in Memphis. The Thunder, which had the NBA’s second-best record in the regular season, has to figure out how to shoot better against the team that ousted it in the conference semifinals in five games last year.
NBA scoring champ Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook each scored 30 for the Thunder, which even got another four-point play in the final minute to force overtime. This time, it was Westbrook’s turn with 26.6 seconds left.
But Durant missed all eight three-point attempts and was 10 of 27 from the floor. Westbrook was 9 of 26, though he grabbed 13 rebounds. The Thunder hit only 3 of 12 overall in overtime.
“Kevin is really prideful,” Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. “He loves what he does and loves doing it with the guys that he’s playing with. He was frustrated a few times with himself missing shots he normally makes in his sleep.”
At Hawks 98, Pacers 85
Jeff Teague flung in a wild three-pointer after the officials appeared to miss him stepping out of bounds, and Kyle Korver finished off Indiana from beyond the arc to give Atlanta another lead in the series with the top-seeded Pacers.
Hardly playing like a No. 8 seed that finished six games under .500 during the regular season, the Hawks took control in the third quarter — the decisive period in all three games — and held off the Pacers to go up 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.
Game 4 is Saturday in Atlanta.
Clippers 98, at Warriors 96
Blake Griffin scored 32 points and grabbed eight rebounds, DeAndre Jordan had 14 points and 22 rebounds and Los Angeles outlasted Golden State to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round series.
The frontcourt tandem bullied and bruised the Warriors inside to power the Clippers ahead by 18 points in the third quarter. And they did just enough late to silence a rocking, gold-shirt wearing sellout crowd of 19,596 to regain home-court advantage.
Former Cougar Klay Thompson scored 26 points, and Stephen Curry had 16 points and 15 assists to rally the Warriors. But Curry forced a contested, step-back three-pointer over Chris Paul in the final seconds to seal the Clippers’ victory.
Game 4 is Sunday in Oakland.
• Charlotte Bobcats forward Josh McRoberts was fined $20,000 by the NBA for making unnecessary and excessive contact with Miami Heat forward LeBron James.
• Grizzlies guard Conley was awarded the NBA’s Joe Dumars Trophy for sportsmanship.