Memphis beats Thunder in OT on Gasol's tip-in
Memphis, TN – Marc Gasol's tip-in of a missed layup from Zach Randolph just prior to the final buzzer proved to be the difference as the Memphis Grizzlies came through with a thrilling 90-89 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder at FedEx Forum.
Both players recorded double-doubles for Memphis, which blew a 10-point third- quarter lead before ultimately earning its eighth victory in 10 games by prevailing in extra time. Randolph finished with 15 points and 18 rebounds, with Gasol compiling 14 points and 15 boards.
Mike Conley contributed 24 points for the Grizzlies, with Jerryd Bayless aiding the cause with a 20-point effort off the bench.
The Thunder lost consecutive games for only the fourth time this season despite 32 points out of Kevin Durant and 20 from Russell Westbrook. Kevin Martin added 17 points for Oklahoma City, which was coming off Tuesday's 114-104 setback to red-hot Denver, while Kendrick Perkins pulled down 16 rebounds.
"If your players compete like that, you live with the results. Obviously, it would be a nicer flight to come away with the win, but this is the NBA," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said.
Bayless knocked down a 3-pointer with three seconds left in regulation to force an overtime that saw four lead changes, one of which occurred when Westbrook followed a Durant jumper with a running layup with 13 seconds remaining that gave Oklahoma City an 89-88 edge.
Following a timeout, Randolph attempted a short jumper with time winding down that was off the mark, but Gasol outleaped a couple of Thunder defenders to put home the miss right before the clock expired.
Westbrook then misfired on a heave from half-court, giving the Grizzlies the win.
"We were forced to handle adversity against a very good team. That says a lot about our confidence down the stretch and believing we can win regardless," Conley said.
Oklahoma City trailed 48-38 four minutes into the second half, but closed the gap over the remainder of the third quarter. Durant scored seven straight points near the end of the period, the last of which put the Thunder in front by a 57-56 count 29 seconds prior to the start of the fourth.
The game remained nip-and-tuck throughout the final frame of regulation, though an 8-1 run capped by a Martin trey staked the Thunder to a 78-72 advantage with 1:26 to play. Oklahoma City carried a three-point cushion down to the wire, before Bayless buried a clutch triple to keep the contest going.
Oklahoma City shot a miserable 22.2 percent in the first quarter to fall behind 21-15 at the start of the second, and Memphis took a 44-38 lead into the break behind tough defense and a 12-point, nine-rebound performance from Randolph.
The loss was only the Thunder's fourth in 18 outings following a defeat this season. Oklahoma City is a league-best 29-7 in games after a loss since the start of the 2011-12 campaign ... The Thunder shot just 35.7 percent for the game, well below their season average of 48.3 percent coming in, and went 2- of-18 from 3-point range ... Bayless made good on 4-of-6 tries from beyond the arc on the evening.