Oklahoma City wins series 4-3 (Game 6 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

Thunder 104

(59-23, 25-16 away)

Grizzlies 84

(50-32, 27-14 home)

    Coverage: TNT

    8:00 PM ET, May 1, 2014

    FedExForum, Memphis, TN

    1 2 3 4 T
    OKC 25 31 26 22104
    MEM 17 24 20 2384

    Top Performers

    Okc: K. Durant 36 Pts, 10 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Mem: M. Gasol 17 Pts, 5 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl

    Thunder-Grizzlies Preview

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Mike Miller has a sobering story for his Grizzlies' teammates to keep them from celebrating prematurely now that Memphis has a chance to eliminate Oklahoma City.

    While with Miami, the Heat trailed the Celtics 3-2 in 2012 going into Boston -- but rallied to win the game and the series.

    Miller said Wednesday his message is simple: This Western Conference series is far from over. Memphis hosts Game 6 on Thursday night.

    "Still a race to four," Miller said. "We like where we are, but we have a lot of stuff we have to accomplish yet."

    The Grizzlies grabbed a 3-2 lead in this first-round series pulling out a 100-99 overtime win Tuesday night in Oklahoma City when Serge Ibaka couldn't shoot off a rebound before time expired. Now Memphis can become only the second No. 7 seed in the NBA to take down a No. 2 seed in a best-of-seven series, joining the Spurs who beat Dallas in 2010.

    That would be only the latest highlight in a drama-filled series featuring a record four consecutive overtime games. The Grizzlies have blown leads in each game that went to overtime before winning three, and they also have given up a late four-point play in three games to three different players.

    "I'm getting tired of it," Grizzlies guard Tony Allen said of all the extra work. "Hopefully, we do the things we need to do to try to avoid that, and that's taking care of the ball down the stretch."

    The Thunder are on the brink of being eliminated in the first round for the first time since 2010 when a young Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook lost to the Lakers. Now Oklahoma City had the NBA's second-best record in the regular season and Durant and Westbrook both are All-Stars, yet both struggling to shoot against Memphis.

    The Grizzlies have held Oklahoma City below 40 percent shooting for four straight games, the longest such streak in franchise history. Durant is averaging 28 points a game but was 10 of 24 for 26 points in Game 5. He also didn't shoot even once during a 6-minute stretch in the fourth quarter.

    "The great ones just continue to focus on the next game," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said of Durant. "He's a great one. He's one of the greatest players in the world. He has to be able to continue to step up and take those shots, and he will. I have the utmost respect for his game."

    Durant has been playing more minutes every game, including all but 75 seconds Tuesday night. Westbrook had a triple-double playing 48 minutes, while Marc Gasol was on the court a team-high 46 minutes for Memphis.

    Brooks is trying to rally his Thunder for a trip back to Memphis where they won Game 4 to take back home-court advantage.

    "We have a great opportunity to go in there and give ourselves a chance to win," Brooks said. "We've done that in every game in this series."

    Oklahoma City tried to sign Miller last summer only to lose him to Memphis, and the veteran has some unfinished business here after being on the Grizzlies' first three playoff teams that lost an NBA-worst 12 straight. He had his best game in this series scoring 21 off the bench in Game 6, including two 3s in overtime.

    The fourth overtime prompted someone to text Miller asking if the Grizzlies could make it easier for their fans.

    "That wouldn't be the Memphis Grizzlies' style," Miller said, "but we'll take them however we get them."


    Research Notes

    The Grizzlies are trying to become the 6th 7 seed to defeat a 2 seed in a playoff series all-time. 7 seeds are 5-56 all-time in 1st Round playoff series against 2 seeds.
    Kevin Durant is just 1-4 all-time in elimination games and he's shooting just 38.9 percent from the field, well below his field goal percentage of 46.3 in all other postseason games. For comparisons sake, LeBron James is 7-6 all-time in elimination games while Michael Jordan went 6-7.
    With potentially two more games left in the 1st Round, Russell Westbrook has already taken 53 shots in the 4th quarter or overtime. That is the most such attempts by any player in any series over the last 15 postseasons. He's shooting just 26 percent on those attempts...
    If the Thunder fall to the Grizzlies and Kevin Durant wins MVP, it would be just the 4th instance in which a player won the award and then lost in the Conference Quarterfinals dating back to when that round began in 1975.
    Russell Westbrook has taken 53 shots in the 4th quarter/OT this postseason, the most on the Thunder. While Kevin Durant is 20-42 from the field, Westbrook is just 14-53 in the 4th quarter/OT. Over the last 15 years, there have been 180 instances in which a player has taken at least 50 shots in the 4th quarter/OT in a single postseason. Westbrook's 26.4 FG percentage this postseason ranks dead last among that group.
    Here are some stats on Kevin Durant after losses in the playoffs and in elimination games... Durant is 9-13 in his postseason career after a playoff loss and he is 1-4 in his postseason career, previous to tonight, on the brink of elimination... Kevin Durant- Brink of elimination W-L: 1-4 PPG: 28.2 (141/5) RPG: 8.6 (43/5) APG: 3.2 (16/5) Steals PG: 0.8 (4/5) Blocks PG: 1.6 (8/5) FG Pct: 38.9 (44-113) (Averaging: 8.8 FGM-22.6 FGA) Here are Durant's stats in the playoffs after a loss: W-L: 9-13 PPG: 28.5 (627/22) RPG: 8.6 (190/22) APG: 3.4 (74/22) Steals PG: 1.4 (30/22) Blocks PG: 1.4 (31/22) FG Pct: 43.3 (208-480) (Averaging: 9.5 FGM-21.8 FGA) When comparing Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Michael Jordan, here are Jordan and LeBron's numbers on the brink of elimination in their careers to compare with Durant... Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Michael Jordan Elimination Games In Career W-L PPG FG Pct Durant 1-4 28.2 38.9 James 7-6 31.9 46.5 Jordan 6-7 31.3 45.8 LeBron James- W-L: 7-6 PPG: 31.9 RPG: 10.2 APG: 6.5 Steals PG: 1.4 Blocks PG: 0.6 FG Pct: 46.5 (139-299) (Averaging: 10.7 FGM-23 FGA) Michael Jordan- W-L: 6-7 PPG: 31.3 RPG: 7.9 APG: 7 Steals PG: 2 Blocks PG: 1.3 FG Pct: 45.8 (143-312) (Averaging: 11 FGM-24 FGA)
    Thunder have a +6 edge in points in the paint at half against the Grizzlies. In the previous five games, they were outscored by an average of 12.4 points in the paint.
    Analysis: The Grizzlies were held to their third-lowest effective field goal percentage Thursday.
    Mike Conley entered Game 6 as the most prolific scorer on drives this postseason, averaging 8.0 points per game on those plays according to player tracking. In Game 6, Conley shot 1-of-6 on drives, netting 2 points.
    Kevin Durant matched his postseason high with 36 points Thursday after scoring 41 points combined the past two games. How was Durant able to get off the "slide"? - Durant scored 16 points in the paint Thursday, his most in regulation this postseason. Durant was 8 of 13 on attempts in the paint. - The Thunder were able to get Durant more touches in prime scoring areas. Only 5 of his 23 field goal attempts (22 percent) came on touches that started beyond the three-point line in Game 6. Entering the game, 47 percent of his attempts came on touches that originated beyond the arc. - For this first time this series, Tony Allen wasn't the primary defender on Durant. Durant attempted only 7 of his 23 field goals against Allen Thursday, including 2 in the first half. Durant went 3 of 7 with 9 points against Allen overall in Game 6, but went 8 of 16 with 26 points against all others. Allen has held Durant to 35.1 percent shooting on the series.
    Kevin Durant scored 10 points in the paint in the 1st quarter of Game 6. He scored a total of 6 paint points in both Games 4 and 5.
    Kevin Durant has been defended by Tony Allen on 75 of his 195 plays this postseason (38.5%). Through 6 games, Durant is shooting 35.1% from the field with Allen as his primary defender compared to 45.1% against all others.
    Russell Westbrook limited the number of jump shots he took off the dribble Thursday and it helped his efficiency. Westbrook shot a series-high 66.7% on pull-up jumpers in Game 6 with a series-low nine attempts.

    ESPN Stats & Information