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March 21, 2013

Gasol’s tip propels Grizzlies over Thunder in overtime

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Marc Gasol tipped in Zach Randolph’s miss with less than a second left in overtime to give the Memphis Grizzlies a 90-89 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night.

In a game that had all the intensity of a playoff matchup, Jerryd Bayless connected from the top of the key for Memphis with 3.7 seconds left in regulation to send the teams into overtime tied at 83. Bayless had 10 points in the fourth quarter.

After Gasol’s tip over Kevin Durant put the Grizzlies ahead, Russell Westbrook’s desperation shot from past halfcourt was off the mark and Memphis walked away with its 16th victory in 19 games.

Mike Conley led the Grizzlies with 24 points and Bayless had 20. Zach Randolph added 15 points and 18 rebounds, while Gasol had 14 points and 15 rebounds.

Durant led the Thunder with 32 points, including 15 in the third quarter to help Oklahoma City take its first lead. Westbrook scored 20 points on 7-of-25 shooting from the field. Kevin Martin added 17 points, but no other Thunder player had more than seven.

Oklahoma City scored the first points in overtime on a pair of free throws from Thabo Sefolosha. Memphis then scored five straight, including three from Gasol.

The Thunder answered with a 6-footer in the lane from Durant and a layup by Westbrook with 13.2 seconds left for an 89-88 lead.

That set the stage for Gasol’s final tip-in.

The game featured physical play, disputed calls and technicals. Westbrook got a technical early for griping; Randolph got one late in the fourth when he thought he was fouled under the Memphis basket.

The physical play was coupled with defensive pressure that led to low shooting percentages.

The Thunder ended the night at a season-low 35.7 percent from the field, while Memphis managed to shoot only slightly better at 36 percent.

There were four ties and 14 lead changes in the game.

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