|Western Conference - Semifinals - Best of 7 - Game 2 - OKC Leads 1-0|
|Last 5 Games||4-1||+3.8||5-0||3-2||102.0||50.2||45.1%||55.6||91.2||46.8||43.7%||43.4|
|Team Stats (All Games)||93.8||47.8||36-81||44.5%||5-14||34.4%||17-22||76.9%||51||13||21||21||8||13||5|
|vs opponents surrendering||98.6||49.5||37-82||45.3%||7-20||36.0%||17-23||75.4%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Road Games)||93.6||47.8||36-80||45.0%||5-14||33.8%||18-23||76.2%||49||11||21||21||8||13||5|
|Stats Against (All Games)||89.7||45.9||34-77||43.7%||6-18||33.6%||16-22||75.2%||48||10||19||21||7||14||5|
|vs opponents averaging||99||49.8||37-82||45.6%||7-20||35.8%||17-22||75.2%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||92.1||46.7||34-77||44.6%||7-19||35.3%||17-22||76.5%||48||10||21||21||7||14||5|
|Last 5 Games||3-2||-2.7||2-3||1-4||100.6||54.8||42.9%||49.4||99.6||50.4||44.6%||52.4|
|Team Stats (All Games)||105.6||54.0||38-80||47.8%||7-20||37.5%||22-27||83.0%||51||10||21||20||8||14||8|
|vs opponents surrendering||98.8||49.8||37-82||45.4%||7-20||35.9%||17-22||75.5%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Home Games)||108.1||55.0||39-80||49.1%||8-19||40.0%||22-27||83.2%||51||10||22||21||8||14||8|
|Stats Against (All Games)||96.7||47.8||36-85||42.5%||8-22||34.6%||17-22||76.6%||49||12||20||21||8||14||4|
|vs opponents averaging||98.7||49.6||37-82||45.3%||7-21||35.7%||17-22||75.1%||51||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||95.7||47.2||35-84||41.8%||8-23||33.5%||17-23||76.5%||49||12||19||21||8||14||4|
|Average power rating of opponents played: MEMPHIS 96.3, OKLAHOMA CITY 95.4|
|4/5/2013||@ LA LAKERS||84-86||L||2||T||189.5||U||38-86||44.2%||40||7||34-74||45.9%||55||18|
|4/20/2013||@ LA CLIPPERS||91-112||L||5.5||L||178||O||33-71||46.5%||28||7||41-74||55.4%||56||11|
|4/22/2013||@ LA CLIPPERS||91-93||L||5.5||W||179.5||O||33-73||45.2%||50||12||37-78||47.4%||47||13|
|4/30/2013||@ LA CLIPPERS||103-93||W||5.5||W||180.5||O||37-85||43.5%||55||7||34-77||44.2%||49||13|
|5/5/2013||@ OKLAHOMA CITY||91-93||L||3.5||W||186.5||U||35-82||42.7%||57||11||33-80||41.2%||50||10|
|5/7/2013||@ OKLAHOMA CITY|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|5/11/2013||OKLAHOMA CITY|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/11/2013||@ GOLDEN STATE||116-97||W||-4||W||204.5||O||42-83||50.6%||50||17||37-84||44.0%||51||16|
|5/7/2013||MEMPHIS|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|5/11/2013||@ MEMPHIS|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|MEMPHIS: GUARDS: The Grizzlies will scale back MIKE CONLEY's minutes a bit. He's a quality starting point guard, but seemed to lose some pep as last season wore on . . . TONY ALLEN figures to see more playing time now that O.J. Mayo is gone. He's an outstanding defender who will be the fifth option on offense . . . JERRYD BAYLESS figures to become the new sixth man and Allen platoon partner. He'll also spell Conley at the point, leading to solid minutes for the combo guard . . . Second-year man JOSH SELBY has a chance for a rotation spot after starring in the Summer League. He has big offensive upside . . . WAYNE ELLINGTON seems like an emergency plan for the second unit . . . This is likely a redshirt year for talented, but erratic, rookie TONY WROTEN. FORWARDS: RUDY GAY is going to lead the Grizzlies in touches and shots. He's not shy about looking for iso situations . . . ZACH RANDOLPH had trouble getting back into the flow after his knee injury. It's always been a fragile balance with Z-Bo, and he could be an odd man out going forward . . . MARREESE SPEIGHTS should be the offensive focal point of the bench unit as their sixth man . . . QUINCY PONDEXTER is a versatile defensive piece who will see solid minutes off the bench. He's a non-factor offensively, though . . . DARRELL ARTHUR suffered a non-displaced fractured in his leg in late September, and will not likely be ready when the season begins. A rising young big, his role will depend on when his athleticism comes back. CENTERS: The Grizzlies are at their best when MARC GASOL is getting touches and shots on the offensive end. Whether or not Gay and Randolph are willing to share is a concern, but Gasol has to be aggressive when the ball is in his hands . . . HAMED HADDADI will continue to play limited minutes off the bench.|
|OKLAHOMA CITY: GUARDS: RUSSELL WESTBROOK can do whatever he wants inside the arc and will continue to be a shoot-first point guard . . . JAMES HARDEN will likely keep coming off the bench, but he'll also keep playing starter's minutes . . . THABO SEFOLOSHA is OKC's best perimeter defender. But his role won't become more prominent until the postseason . . . ERIC MAYNOR should be just about all the way back from his torn ACL. When healthy, he's one of the league's best backup point guards . . . DAEQUAN COOK will see limited minutes as a three-point specialist . . . REGGIE JACKSON's role will shrink to near nothing if Maynor is healthy. FORWARDS: KEVIN DURANT continues to do it all, and has done nothing but steadily improve each season . . . SERGE IBAKA is obviously an elite shot-blocker, but he continues to get lost in space. He's made some strides as a pick-and-roll defender, but that weakness is why he doesn't play 30 minutes per night . . . NICK COLLISON will continue to steal a lot of Ibaka's minutes because he defends the pick-and-roll better, and because he draws so many charges, he's almost as good in help situations . . . PERRY JONES III is an incredible athlete, but needs a year or two to learn the game . . . LAZAR HAYWARD is back as a 12th man. CENTERS: KENDRICK PERKINS will continue to start, but is a part-time player. The Thunder are often better with a small lineup. While Perkins is a bruiser he is too easy to exploit as a defender in space . . . COLE ALDRICH could be ready for a slightly bigger role off the bench . . . HASHEEM THABEET is a reclamation project. There's a sliver of long-term hope, but he won't help this year.|
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NBA PLAYOFF PREVIEW (MEMPHIS-OKLAHOMA CITY) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
(Adds details, comments. With AP Photos.)
*Grizzlies-Thunder Preview* ===========================
By JEFF LATZKE AP Sports Writer
Memphis At Oklahoma City, Game Two, 9:30 p.m. EDT
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Pondering Kevin Durant's latest big-time shot on the playoff stage, Lionel Hollins started listing a who's who of NBA greats from days gone by: Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas, Sam Jones, John Havlicek, George Mikan, Bob Pettit.
What do they all have in common?
"If you just go through the history, all the great players made big shots," said Hollins, the Memphis Grizzlies coach. "That's why they're great, not just good."
"If you're not a clutch player, you're not a great player," he added. "You cannot be a great player and not be a clutch player."
Durant is trying to blaze his own path to greatness with his own successes in the closer's role for the Oklahoma City Thunder. His jumper with 11.1 seconds left in Oklahoma City's Game 1 victory against Memphis on Sunday marked the third time already this postseason that the All-Star has produced the go-ahead basket late in a close game.
He also did it with a 3-pointer in the final minute of Game 3 against Houston in the first round and another 3 with just under 2 1/2 minutes to go in Game 2 against the Rockets.
"That's how you build a legacy. That's how you become a part of the history of this game is by making those great shots," said teammate Derek Fisher, a five-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers who has his made his own share of clutch postseason shots and been around for Kobe Bryant making plenty, too. "And Kevin, only five or six years into the league, is becoming one of those guys that we'll remember forever. It's always great to be on the same team with those kind of guys."
The Grizzlies led 90-87 entering the final minute of Game 1 after Marc Gasol's hook shot over Kendrick Perkins. Durant hit jumpers on Oklahoma City's next two possessions, and the Grizzlies - who traded away their go-to guy, Rudy Gay, earlier this season - couldn't match him in crunch time.
Instead of stealing Game 1 on the road, they're down 0-1 heading into Game 2 in Oklahoma City on Tuesday night.
While Durant was doing his damage, Memphis had four possessions in the final minute and didn't get the production needed.
After a Perkins turnover, Tayshaun Prince missed on a runner in the lane and Durant connected to cut the Thunder's deficit to 90-89. Then Mike Conley sped past Fisher, only to get the ball poked out from behind and set up Durant's go-ahead basket in transition.
The Grizzlies countered by trying to feed Gasol in the post, but Oklahoma City disrupted the play and it wound up as a turnover. After Reggie Jackson's two free throws put the Thunder up three, Hollins drew up a play to get reserve Quincy Pondexter open for a 3-pointer.
None of the trips resulted in a shot for All-Star power forward Zach Randolph, who Hollins said Monday he considers his most clutch player. Conley, Gasol and Jerryd Bayless also made his list.
With All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook out for the rest of the playoffs, the Thunder's go-to guy is unquestionably Durant.
"There's no question guys have it and guys don't, and Kevin has it," Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. "He loves big moments. I'm sure he's always been that type of player from the day he picked up a basketball. He has it because he has the skill level, he has the ability to get where he wants to get to.
"In order to really have it, you have to be able to understand that some nights it's not going to go for you ... but you have to be able to do it again the next time. So, you have to have that short-term memory."
Durant has had one of those moments, too, in these playoffs. He was determined to shoot a 3-pointer that could have won Game 4 against Houston, but couldn't get open and instead gave the ball up. Jackson missed a runner and Serge Ibaka couldn't convert the putback as the Thunder lost by two.
"The smaller fraternity of guys that are elite, special, greatest ever is in those situations, they can get the shot that they want. No matter what the defense does, they are going to get to the spot on the floor they want to get to," Fisher said.
"I've seen Shaq do it, I've seen Kobe (Bryant) do it, I've seen great guys do that. I think for Kevin, he's done it already but I think that's an area where, as he continues to learn how to get the shot he wants every time, he's going to be even more difficult to guard for opponents."
|Last Updated: 12/22/2014 3:54:27 PM EST|