The Memphis Grizzlies continue their unbelievable run as they upset the Oklahoma City Thunder 114-101 in game one.
Once again led by Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol the Grizzlies were able to go into Oklahoma City and get another game one win on the road. Randolph had 34 points and 10 rebounds, while Gasol added 20 points and 13 rebounds.
The Grizzlies led most of the game and led in convincing fashion. Every time it looked as if is the Thunder was poised to make a run, Memphis would respond back with a run of their own.
Turnovers were another reason that the Thunder made it very difficult for them to come back. The Thunder had 18 turnovers compared to just 7 for Memphis. Memphis scored 23 points off of turnovers. It is very hard to come back when you’re constantly giving the ball away.
Once again Russell Westbrook played poorly down the stretch.
Once again he outshot Kevin Durant.
Once again he forced way too many shots.
This issue needs to get figured out if the Thunder want to have success in the playoffs, there cannot be an identity crisis. Unlike Memphis, who tends to find the open man or consistently pass the ball, Westbrook tries too hard to come up with something and doesn’t let it come natural.
Durant had 33 points and 11 rebounds, and Westbrook added 29 points.
While Durant is able to get over his defender while shooting, Westbrook was frustrated by the defense of Shane Battier and Tony Allen. As he proved in the series-clinching game against Denver and at the end of this game, Durant can step up and take over a game.
Westbrook needs to defer more to Durant and understand he needs to back off and stop forcing plays. He had 7 turnovers in game one, which was just as many as Memphis had as a team.
Serge Ibaka had a great game for the Thunder. While usually a defensive beast so far these playoffs, Ibaka came out and contributed 16 points, 11 rebounds and 5 blocks.
Game 2 will be held in Oklahoma City on Tuesday at 9:30 PM on TNT.