For the second time in the last two games, the Memphis Grizzlies averted a collapse to grab a 2-1 series lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder in their best-of-seven series in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
Memphis built a huge 17-point lead in the payoff period, but once against collapsed down the stretch as OKC forced overtime with a barrage of three-pointers from Russell Westbrook.
Fortunately for the Grizzlies, and similar to their Game 2 victory, they held off the Thunder in the extra period and got the 98-95 win to avoid what could have been a meltdown.
Grizzlies guard Tony Allen, turned from hero in a matter of seconds after fouling Russell Westbrook on a three-point attempt with 26 seconds left in the game. In previous two plays, Allen made two baskets that gave Memphis a comfortable four-point lead before the end of regulation.
Westbrook made the three-pointer and promptly delivered from the line to tie the game and force OT as Mike Conley and Kevin Durant missed potential game-winners.
Still, the Grizzlies proved again how mentally tough they are despite the telling blows from the Thunder. Memphis outscored Oklahoma City, 13-10 in OT and held on to the win.
Conley scored 5 of his 20 points in extra time and had 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in the game. Zach Randolph finished with 20 points despite shooting 5-of-20 from the field.
Marc Gasol had 14 markers and 8 boards and Allen ended up with 16 points and 9 rebounds plus a lot of defense on Kevin Durant, who bled for his 30 points with a 10-of-27 shooting from the floor.
Westbrook wasn’t any more efficient missing 17-of-26 shots for 30 points.
View the slideshow for more images from Game 3 of the Thunder-Grizzlies match-up.