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Game Day #53: Grizzlies at Thunder

Memphis Grizzlies (28-22, 11-15 road) at Oklahoma City Thunder (40-12, 23-4 home)

 vs 

Where: The ‘Peake!
When: 7 p.m.
TV: FSOK (DirectTV 679, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27, U-Verse 754)
Online Stream: Here.
Radio: WWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemy: Here.
Projected Lineups:

Thunder Grizzlies
PG Russell Westbrook Mike Conely
SG Thabo Sefolosha Tony Allen
SF Kevin Durant Rudy Gay
PF Serge Ibaka Marreese Speights
C Kendrick Perkins Marc Gasol
6th Man James Harden Zach Randolph

Last time:  The Thunder sent Memphis home with a 101-94 win at the ‘Peake.

This is the final match up for the Grizzlies-Thunder this season, pending they don’t meet again in the playoffs. However, all the games have been relatively close.  Expect this to be the same if history dictates anything.

The Grizzlies though, coming off a 99-95 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, are sitting at 28-22 on the season. They’re just 5-7 in their last 12 games.  They had some good wins, winning at the Lakers, and some bad losses, lost at home to the Raptors. They’re really a team that’s hard to predict right now.

Zach Randolph is slowly recovering from his knee injury. The Grizzlies forward had 25 points in his return from a torn right MCL on March 16 but he’s averaged 11.1 over the last eight games — 9.0 fewer than last season’s average — while mainly coming off the bench.

Look for Mike Conely to start for the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies point guard has been out, but sources said they were saving him for this game.

The Thunder however, are one of the league’s hottest teams. They’ve won six in a row. They have wins over Miami, Chicago, Clippers and the Lakers. They’ve ran the proverbial gauntlet you could say.

Russell Westbrook has been insane over these last six games as well. He’s averaging over 28 points per game, while averaging less than 2.5 turnovers per game.

Then you have Kevin Durant. The league’s front-runner for MVP. This guy has just been lights out. It’s his to lose. Even Derrick Rose says he’s the MVP in his book.

Daequan Cook is still out for the Thunder.

Keys to the game

Keep up the pace
Memphis will try to slow Oklahoma City down. They’ve been really effective in the past to get Oklahoma City to play a half court game. Oklahoma City needs to get out and run, and keep this game in a frantic pace so they can keep the Grizzlies on their heels.

Offensive Rebound
The Grizzlies have been successful in the past at grabbing offensive boards against the Thunder. Oklahoma City must limit the opportunities now that the Grizzlies have Randolph back.

Three-Point Shooting
Harden was limited a bit against the Bulls.  However, Oklahoma City shot well against the Bulls from deep. Memphis has done well in the past at defending the three against OKC. However, Grizzlies rank 21st against the three this season.

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