Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Thunder win wild Game 4 in triple-OTwith VIDEO -AFP

Posted by chardyboy on Tuesday, May 10, 2011 0 comments

source: Agence France-Presse

MEMPHIS—Kevin Durant scored six of his 35 points in the third over-time Monday as Oklahoma City won a Western Conference thriller 133-123 to tie their NBA playoff series with Memphis at two games each.

Oklahoma City regained the home-court advantage that the Grizzlies had snatched and now host game five on Wednesday.

Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with 40 points. James Harden added 19, and Daequan Cook chipped in 10.

The Grizzlies, playing to a packed house despite floods that have swelled the Mississippi River and displaced thousands, looked weary in the third over-time, making just one of their nine shots from the floor.

Zach Randolph led the Grizzlies with 34 points and 16 rebounds and Marc Gasol added 26 points and 21 rebounds in the losing effort. O.J. Mayo had 18 and Mike Conley 16 before both fouled out. Greivis Vasquez had 14.

The winner of this series will play the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference finals for a chance to face a team from the East for the NBA crown.

The Mavericks have a chance to rest up after ousting the two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers in the minimum four games.

The Memphis-Oklahoma City series, in contrast, is a dog-fight. Monday's nail-biter came just two days after the Grizzlies edged the Thunder in over-time.

Conley forced the first over-time with his only three-pointer of the game. Vasquez, the rookie who came in after Conley and Mayo fouled out late in the first extra period, hit a three-pointer to set up the second over-time. Gasol's tip-in set up the third over-time.

The Thunder had chances to win at the end of regulation and the first two extra periods.

Westbrook's jump shot hit the rim just before the buzzer to end regulation.

Durant, the NBA scoring champion, saw a three-pointer miss at the end of the first over-time and Westbrook's leaning long-range jump shot brushed the rim at the buzzer to end the second over-time.

Oklahoma City took charge in the third extra period, when Westbrook's basket with 3:38 remaining put them ahead for good.

Durant added a pair of free throws and his running lay-up gave the Thunder a 129-123 lead with less than a minute to play.

Durant stole the ball from Randolph on the other end and made a shot over Shane Battier with 29.3 seconds left.

The Grizzlies can look back and regret letting an early 18-point lead slip.

Oklahoma City could have put it away sooner, too, surrendering a 10-point fourth-quarter lead.


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