Again, no one thought the Memphis Grizzlies would win game one on the road. Again, they did. This time just 36 hours after the biggest win in franchise history. And this time, no miracle three-point shots were needed.
No, the Grizzlies won this game the old-fasioned way, with dominating play from their two big men Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, who combined for 54 points and 13 rebounds. Randolph’s 34 points are a new Grizzlies’ playoff record, and were the most of any player in the game.
Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant scored 33 and Russell Westbrook added 29 in a losing effort.
The Grizzlies were able to jump out with a small lead early, but took control of the game in the second quarter and went into the half with a double-digit lead. The Thunder had a few runs in which they came as close as 1 point, but were never even able to even tie the game.
The Thunder just couldn’t find an answer for Randolph and Gasol, who rolled right through single defensive coverage that was soft compared to the physicality of the Spurs. Oklahoma City did not even start double-teaming the two Grizzlies bigs until late in the fourth quarter, but by then it was too late.
Other notable players for the Grizzlies were Shane Battier, Mike Conley and Tony Allen who all scored in double figures.
The Grizzlies next game is Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. in Oklahoma City. The next home game takes place Saturday at 4:00 p.m. Both game 3 and 4 at FedExForum are already sold out.
Photo by Chase Gustafson.