Grizzlies, Clippers win to level playoff series
AFP Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 12:08 am TWN
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Zach Randolph scored eight of his 25 points in overtime to spark the Memphis Grizzlies over Oklahoma City 111-105 Monday, equalizing their NBA playoff series at one win each.
Mike Conley added 19 points and 12 assists while Spaniard Marc Gasol and Courtney Lee each added 16 points for Memphis, which will host the next two games in the best-of-seven Western Conference first-round matchup Thursday and Saturday.
In the night's other NBA playoff game, Blake Griffin scored 35 points and the Los Angeles Clippers routed visiting Golden State 138-98 to level their playoff series at 1-1 with game three Thursday at Oakland.
"We just relaxed a little bit and played our game," Griffin said. "We ran our offense and that opened up some shots."
At Oklahoma City, NBA regular-season scoring champion Kevin Durant netted 36 points and grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds, but it was not enough to lift the hosts past the Grizzlies, who ousted the Thunder from last year's playoffs.
Russell Westbrook added 29 points and nine assists and Spaniard Serge Ibaka had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Thunder.
Durant made a spectacular play to help deny Memphis a regulation-time triumph.
Durant took a pass from Westbrook at the left corner of the court and, while being fouled and falling backwards out of bounds, lofted a 3-point basket and added a free throw to lift Oklahoma City within 98-97 with 13.8 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
Conley went 1-of-2 from the line for the second time in the dying seconds to boost Memphis' lead to 99-97.
Westbrook missed a 3-point attempt but the Thunder's Kendrick Perkins grabbed the rebound and banked in a basket on his only shot of the game as time expired to level the score at 99-99 and force overtime.
Randolph hit two early baskets in overtime as Memphis took a four-point lead, but Durant answered with a 3-pointer and a later free throw to pull Oklahoma City level at 105-105.
Randolph hit a layup to put Memphis back on top and, after Ibaka was called for traveling, Westbrook was forced to foul Lee, who hit two free throws to put the Grizzlies ahead 109-105.
Randolph hit two final free throws to produce the final Memphis victory margin.
At Los Angeles, Griffin scored 21 points in the first half, helping the Clippers seize a 67-41 half-time lead on the way to a lopsided triumph.
Danny Granger added 15 points as seven players were double-digit scorers for the Clippers. Steph Curry scored 24 points to lead the Warriors in a losing cause.
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