Tony Allen scored on a driving layup to open overtime and the host Memphis Grizzlies held off the Oklahoma City Thunder 103-97 to push the defending Western Conference champions to the edge of elimination. Memphis leads the best-of-seven series 3-1.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis Grizzlies are showing they know how to grab an advantage and hold onto it this postseason.
Tony Allen scored on a driving layup to open overtime and the Grizzlies held off the Oklahoma City Thunder 103-97 Monday night to push the defending Western Conference champions to the edge of elimination.
The Grizzlies shook off a first half in which they couldn’t make shots and the Thunder seemingly couldn’t miss in building its largest lead in this series at 17 points. But the Grizzlies have yet to lose at home this postseason, and they took a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Game 5 is Wednesday in Oklahoma City.
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The Grizzlies outscored the Thunder 9-3 in overtime.
“We are a team that just plays hard and doesn’t quit,” Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. “We scratch. We claw. They said grit and grind. I don’t know what the heck that means, but we go out and we just battle. We compete.”
Former Sonic Kevin Durant scored 27 points for Oklahoma City but missed all five of his shots in the extra period, including a layup in the final seconds. Durant went 2 of 13 over the fourth quarter and overtime. The All-Star played 48 minutes and was short on many shots as the game wore on.
Durant wore a Sonics hat at the morning shootaround.
Durant’s driving layup with 6.4 seconds left closed out scoring in regulation. Asked why he opted to go to the hoop instead of shooting a three, Durant said he saw an open lane.
“I just went to get as close as I could and try to send it to overtime, which we did,” he said. “They made more plays than us in overtime, and they got the win.”
Durant got the help from teammates he had been needing. Kevin Martin scored 18 points, Serge Ibaka had his best game of the series with 17 points and 14 rebounds, and Reggie Jackson had 15.
Mike Conley led Memphis with 24 points. Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol had double-doubles. Randolph collected 23 points and 12 boards, while Gasol had 23 points and 11 rebounds.
In 2011, the Grizzlies were the team that blew the big lead in the first half of Game 4, with the Thunder pulling out the victory to even the series. They also wasted home-court advantage last year in the playoffs in the opening round against the Los Angeles Clippers.
CHICAGO — LeBron James and the Miami Heat didn’t give the Chicago Bulls room to breathe, practically squeezing the playoff life out of them to take a commanding lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Another effort like this will seal the deal.
James scored 27 points and the Heat nearly matched a franchise record for fewest points allowed in a playoff game, pounding the listless and short-handed Bulls 88-65 to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
The 65 points allowed were two more than the all-time postseason low for a Miami opponent.
Never before had the Bulls scored fewer than 69 points in a playoff game nor 10 or less in a quarter during the postseason. Miami led by 11 points at the half and put this one away in the third quarter, outscoring Chicago 17-9 in the period.