|Date of game: 1/31/2015
Recap: Memphis vs. Oklahoma City
Memphis, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Kevin Durant was not effective in his return after a two-game absence, and the Memphis Grizzlies' tough defense shut down the Oklahoma City Thunder, 85-74, on Saturday.
Durant and Russell Westbrook each shot 5-of-16 for Oklahoma City, losers in four of its last five.
The Grizzlies were led by their frontcourt duo of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. Randolph paced the game with 21 points and 18 rebounds, and Gasol added 15 points, 12 boards and five assists.
In his own return from a two-game absence, Mike Conley scored 10 points for Memphis, which has won six in a row.
"It's a standard that's being set," Conley said. "Hopefully, we will continue to play with that effort and energy."
The first three quarters were evenly played, but Memphis pulled away with an 11-2 run to start the final period. Nick Calathes scored four of those points, and all 11 were from the Grizzlies bench. After Serge Ibaka's fadeaway cut Oklahoma City's deficit to 11 with 5:17 to go, the Thunder went three minutes without scoring to end any chance of a comeback.
In the fourth quarter, Oklahoma City turned the ball over eight times and only had one assist on four made baskets.
"We lost our composure," Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said. "When we got down three or four points, we didn't come together."
Durant was actually sharp in his return to action early, scoring five points on 2-of-3 shooting in the first quarter. The same was true for Conley, who scored all 10 of his points in the period to help the Grizzlies take a 25-20 lead after one quarter.
Each team shot below 30 percent in the second quarter, and Memphis held a 45-40 lead at the break. Despite holding the Grizzlies' frontcourt duo of Gasol and Randolph to 11 points on 3-of-14 shooting through one half, the Thunder's own struggles from the field prevented them from taking advantage.
Oklahoma City started the second quarter on a 7-0 run before an acrobatic Tony Allen layup got the Grizzlies on the board. That started an 8-0 Memphis run that gave it the lead for the remainder of the game. Anthony Morrow's triple after a loose ball scramble pulled the Thunder within three with 32 seconds to go, but Gasol hit a pair of free throws to end the half.
The third quarter was evenly played, but Randolph and Gasol started to take over. The two combined for 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting, and a Jeff Green bucket accounted for the Grizzlies' only two other points in the period. They led 68-62 after three.Game Notes
Durant was out of action with a toe injury, and Conley was battling a wrist
injury ... Memphis scored 18 points off 18 Oklahoma City turnovers ... The
Grizzlies and Thunder shot 37 and 34.6 percent, respectively ... Memphis
outscored Oklahoma City in the paint, 44-22.