OKLAHOMA CITY — Nothing rattled the Memphis Grizzlies.
Not squandering a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter and a five-point lead in the final 19 seconds of regulation. Not Kevin Durant's 20 points after the third quarter. Not even giving up an improbable game-tying putback that forced overtime.
The Grizzlies remained steady and took care of business in the extra period. Zach Randolph scored 25 points to help Memphis defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 111-105, in overtime on Monday night and tie their first-round playoff series at one game apiece.
"It was just staying confident, understanding that those guys are going to make runs," Memphis forward Tony Allen said. "We've got to weather the storm by staying together and not getting down."
Mike Conley added 19 points and 12 assists for the Grizzlies, who executed their game plan perfectly and put themselves in position to take control of the series in Game 3 on Thursday night in Memphis. Oklahoma City pushed the pace through most of its 100-86 victory in Game 1, but on Monday, the Grizzlies successfully slowed the tempo and limited Oklahoma City's fastbreak opportunities.
"Basically it's just going to be a slugfest," said Allen, who was praised by his teammates for playing solid defense against Durant. "We're going to pound it. They're going to run it. Whoever can come up with the most stops pretty much wins the game."
Oklahoma City's stars put up big numbers, but they worked for everything they got. Durant had 36 points and 11 rebounds, but he made just 12 of 28 shots and had just eight points at halftime and 16 through the first three quarters. Russell Westbrook scored 29 points for Oklahoma City, but he made only 11 of 28 shots. Serge Ibaka added 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Thunder, which shot just under 40%.
"We missed some shots that we could make," Oklahoma City Coach Scott Brooks said. "Give them some credit."
Trailing 99-97, Westbrook missed a wild three-pointer in the closing seconds, but Kendrick Perkins, who hadn't made a shot all game, scored right before the buzzer to force overtime.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times