The Oklahoma City Thunder came back and evened the series with the Memphis Grizzlies 1-1 off Kevin Durant’s 26 points. Russell Westbrook, the honey badger, got back on track with 24 points, 6 assists and only 4 turnovers. Eric Maynor and James Harden exploded off the bench to combine for 36 points, 7 assists and 6 steals.
After being bullied around the court in Game 1, the Thunder pushed Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol around. Nick Collison and Serge Ibaka got physical early and often with Zbo. After going 21-33 for 54 points in game 1, Zbo & Gasol went a measly 5-22 for 28 points. 18 of those game from the free throw line.
Looking back at the keys of the game.
Turnover control: Thunder had 16 turnovers. Again, not a good thing. Only thing that was even okay with this I guess, is that the Grizzlies turned the ball over 16 times as well. Need to go ahead and take care of the ball.
Rebounding: Memphis out rebounded the Thunder on both ends. However, you couldn’t tell. They were able to shut down the extra possession that Memphis had gotten. Grizzlies out rebounded OKC 38-34 and 13-7 on the offensive end.
Zach Randolph: The Thunder shut him DOWN. Zbo went 2-13 from the field. Finished with 15 points. Very deceiving 15 points. He got to the line. That’s what he’s good at doing that. Collison and Ibaka just frustrated him all night. It was beautiful.
Energy: Thunder came out with tons of energy even though they got down 0-6 early. Fought back and took a 7-6 lead and it felt like the Thunder had a 20 point lead at that moment. Thunder gained the lead 13-10 off a Kevin Durant 3 point shot. They would never look back.
I talked about Russell Westbrook. I said the game would run through him. It was true.
Game 1: 9-23 FG, 1-2 3PT, 10-12 FT, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 7 turnovers – 29 pts.
Game 2: 9-20 FG, 1-2 3PT, 5-6 FT, 2 rebounds, 6 assists 4 turnovers – 24 pts.
Comparing the games by eye look to be about the same. However, Russell was in control and was able to dictate the flow so well. Very rarely did he get out of control. I’d give RW a definitely B for his overall performance.
Special shout out to James Harden and Eric Maynor. I’ve been a big anti-Maynor person since we got Nate Robinson. I felt he played passive and almost didn’t want to be here. He had a bad game in game 4. However, he won me over in this game at least. I hope he dominates like this the rest of the series.
Fact is this is going to be a knock out drag out series. The Grizzlies are rough and tough. However, they’ve shown this season if you get physical with them, they back down. I can provide stats if needed.
I predicted the Thunder in 6 games. I stick to that.
Game 3 is in Memphis on Saturday at 4PM CST.
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