The Norman Transcript

Local Sports

May 8, 2013

Thunder can’t overcome late Grizzlies’ rally in Game 2

Durant's near triple-double goes to waste as series is tied 1-1

OKLAHOMA CITY — Memphis fans know just how good Mike Conley has become. They have watched the point guard develop over time with the Grizzlies.

But Conley is now using the postseason as a showcase to the rest of the world to display just what he can do on a basketball court.

With his Grizz in need of a victory, Conley scored six of his 26 points in the final two minutes as Memphis overcame Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder 99-93 Tuesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

"I've been saying for a long time he is up and coming," Memphis guard Tony Allen said. "Mike Conley is now one of the top five point guards in the league whether anybody likes it or not. I know a lot of people have their favorites and who they think should be, but he’s in that conversation now."

Conley added 10 rebounds and nine assists to his stellar night.

"I let my guy go one assist shy of a triple-double," Oklahoma City's Reggie Jackson said. "You don't have to look too far why we lost tonight."

Durant had 36 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists for Oklahoma City. But it wasn't enough to prevent the Grizzlies from tying the Western Conference semifinal series at 1-1. Game 3 is Saturday in Memphis.

"Of course everyone's going to panic because we lost the game, but that's not what we're going to do here," Durant said. "We feel confident...can't be upset with ourselves. I'll always stay positive. It's a grind-out series. We always like a fight. We always like a challenge."

That is exactly what the Grizzlies did down the stretch in Game 2.

Memphis led 86-85 with 3:25 left in the fourth quarter when Durant hit a bank shot over Jerryd Bayless and was fouled in the process. The ensuing free throw put the Thunder up by two.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports