Memphis, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - The Memphis Grizzlies took advantage of
Russell Westbrook's torn meniscus in last year's Western Conference semifinals
and defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games.
Memphis, though, was the team shorthanded this time.
Westbrook had 27 points, nine assists and six rebounds as the Thunder defeated
the Grizzlies 116-100 on Wednesday night.
"He sets the tone for us and our guys do a great job following his lead," OKC
head coach Scott Brooks said of Westbrook.
The Thunder defeated the Houston Rockets in the opening round despite losing
Westbrook in Game 2, but lost four straight in the semis after taking Game 1.
Kevin Durant added 18 points and six rebounds for OKC, which has won 12 of its
last 13 games. Jeremy Lamb scored 18 points off the bench in the triumph.
Mike Conley netted 20 points to go with nine assists and Zach Randolph donated
17 points and eight boards for the Grizzlies, who continue to play without
star center Marc Gasol due to a sprained MCL and guard Tony Allen due to a hip
injury. Memphis is also missing forward Ed Davis (ankle) and swingman Quincy
Pondexter (right foot).
Westbrook netted 10 quick points as the Thunder raced out to a 21-11 start
before Randolph put in six points during a 9-2 Memphis flurry to get the hosts
within 23-20 late in the first.
The game was played within a five-point window from there until OKC went on a
huge surge before the conclusion of the half.
The Thunder led 25-22 after a quarter of play and Westbrook capped a 15-3 OKC
swing with a pull-up triple to make it 55-40 late in the second.
OKC took a 57-42 spread into the break and led by as many as 24 in the third
before settling for an 89-73 cushion heading into the fourth, where the
Thunder coasted to the easy win.
Thunder guard Andre Roberson started in place of Thabo Sefolosha, who missed
Tuesday's game due to a right knee sprain ... OKC shot 56.3 percent (40-of-71)
from the floor.
The Sports Network