Final / OT

Oklahoma City wins series 4-3 (Game 5 of 7)

Oklahoma City wins series 4-3

Game 1: Saturday, April 19th
Game 2: Monday, April 21st
Game 3: Thursday, April 24th
Game 4: Saturday, April 26th
Game 5: Tuesday, April 29th
Game 6: Thursday, May 1st
Game 7: Saturday, May 3rd

Grizzlies 100

(50-32, 23-18 away)

Thunder 99

(59-23, 34-7 home)

    Coverage: NBATV

    9:00 PM ET, April 29, 2014

    Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK

    1 2 3 4 OT T
    MEM 30 25 21 14 10100
    OKC 25 18 27 20 999

    Top Performers

    Mem: M. Miller 21 Pts, 6 Reb, 3 Ast, 3 Stl

    Okc: R. Westbrook 30 Pts, 10 Reb, 13 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Grizzlies-Thunder Preview

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Memphis forward Zach Randolph usually imposes his will on opponents with his strong, aggressive play.

    Oklahoma City's Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka have more than met the challenge.

    Randolph, a 6-foot-9, 260-pound forward, averaged 17.4 points and 10.1 rebounds during the regular season. In the playoffs, he's up to 18.3 points per game, but he has made just 36 percent of his shots. The Thunder say Perkins' strength and Ibaka's athletic ability have been a tough combination for Randolph to handle. The two have switched off on him and mostly defended him straight up, sometimes even switching during a play.

    "They're doing an amazing job," Thunder guard Russell Westbrook said. "I don't think they're getting the credit they deserve. I think a lot of the attention is on Kevin (Durant) and myself, but I think they're doing a great job of defending those bigs, which is tough to do."

    In Game 4 on Saturday night, Randolph made 5 of 14 field goals and 1 of 5 free throws. The Thunder won in overtime to tie the series at two wins apiece, and they will try to keep their success going in Game 5 Tuesday in Oklahoma City.

    In Game 1, Randolph made just 7 of 21 shots. He was back to normal in Game 2, making 10 of 20 shots and scoring 25 points. He bottomed out in Games 3 and 4. In Game 3, he made just 5 of 20 shots, but the Grizzlies managed to win in overtime. Things weren't much better in Game 4.

    It's not just Randolph's shooting that is suffering. His rebound average is down to 8.5 per game, and he has made just 19 of 30 free throws in the series. He will not change his approach.

    "Just keep on being me, keep playing," he said.

    The Grizzlies are working to figure out ways to get Randolph open, but it is difficult to come up with new things against a team that knows him so well. This is the third time in four years the teams have met in the playoffs.

    "We've got to try to get some motion with the ball movement from side to side, so when the ball does come back to him, he gets the ball at a better position closer to the basket," Grizzlies guard Mike Conley said. "I think he's been too far out having to work too hard to get to his spot."

    With Ibaka, the Thunder have one of the league's most athletic interior defenders. The 6-10 forward was fourth in the Defensive Player of the Year balloting after finishing third in 2013 and second in 2012. Ibaka has at least four blocks in three of the four games.

    In Perkins, the Thunder have a 6-10, 270-pound brick wall with veteran savvy who won't give Randolph an inch.

    "Perk is one of the premier defenders in the league," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "He does that game in, game out. He gives everything he has to stop his man from getting good post position. That's his first line of defense."

    Memphis coach Dave Joerger acknowledged that Perkins is keeping Randolph out of his comfort zone, and that the Grizzlies will need to do little things better to get him going.

    "Ball movement is always good, where other guys are a threat," Joerger said. "And then he (Randolph) gets duck-ins or advance passes and post-ups from there."

    Brooks said he expects Randolph to be his usual assertive self in Game 5.

    "Zach is not going to give up," Brooks said. "That guy is as good as any player in this league at playing aggressive low-post basketball. He's relentless in his pursuit of the basket, and when the offensive boards are available, he's always crashing. You always have to stay between him and the basket."


    Research Notes

    The Thunder simply do not play well when Russell Westbrook decides to shoot the ball a is as simple as that... In Westbrook's career, he has shot the ball more than 25 times on 29 different occasions...In those 29 games, his team is just 11-18...
    The Thunder will need the mid-range shooting of Kevin Durant to return to the form it has been over the previous 2 postseasons in Game 5 tonight vs the Grizzlies. He's shooting a playoff career low 27.6 percent on mid-range shots through 4 games this postseason.
    From Elias: Derek Fisher is just 1 win away from tying Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the 2nd most playoff wins by a player in NBA history, and 2 wins away from tying the all-time record.
    The Grizzlies outscored the Thunder 40-32 in the paint Thursday, including 12 paint points from Zach Randolph. Memphis has outscored Oklahoma City in the paint in each game this series, and hold a +62 paint differential.
    Kevin Durant shot 42.9% on jump shots in Game 5, and that was his best shooting outing this series. Durant has taken 82 jump shots in five games, 69 of them have been contested by Grizzlies defenders.
    The Grizzlies/Thunder series has featured 4 consecutive overtime games ... But you can't say the Grizzlies are getting lucky. While the score has been within 5 points for 121 of the 260 minutes that have been played, Memphis has held the lead for 148 minutes while OKC has led for just 93 minutes.
    The Grizzlies outscored the Thunder 15-7 in transition, despite Oklahoma City having nearly twice as many plays. The main difference came behind the 3-point line as the Grizzlies were 3-3 from deep in transition while the Thunder were 0-3.

    ESPN Stats & Information