Grizz Nation was in full effect Sunday evening in Oklahoma City and although an unlikely victory in the home of last year's Western Conference champs was well within reach, a few critical errors and some home court luck, gave the Thunder the win. Kevin Durant made a critical jumper with 11.1 seconds remaining in the 4th quarter Sunday to give the Thunder the lead, which unfortunately for Grizz Nation, they never relinquished. It was Durant's 4th game-tying or go-ahead shot in the final 24 seconds of a playoff game in the last five postseasons, tied for the most in the league.
Game 2 is Tuesday night in Oklahoma City.
Zach Randolph chipped in 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Grizzlies, and Quincy Pondexter and Mike Conley scored 13 apiece. The critical stat was Memphis went 14 for 24 on free throws. "Obviously, we have to make free throws, especially myself," said Pondexter, who was slapped on his right arm by Jackson on his attempt at the tying 3-pointer. "We've just got to take this as a learning experience and move on."
While the first quarter was uncharacteristically slow, the final three quarters were incredible. The last five minutes of the game were played within a three-point margin. This was definitely one of the best games of the playoffs to date, and a fitting start to what promises to be an excellent series between two of the NBA's best.