The Norman Transcript

Sports

November 15, 2012

Unafraid to mix it up, Memphis beats back Thunder

Perkins, Randolph involved in reported altercation after being ejected from game

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City prides itself on being a tough team. It doesn’t get intimidated, and it normally doesn’t let teams physically push them around.

That changed Wednesday when Memphis came to town. The Grizzlies battered, bruised and physically outplayed the defending Western Conference Champions on their way to a 107-97 victory at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

“It’s definitely emotional, it’s definitely tough,” Memphis guard Quincy Pondexter said. “But that’s the way we like to play basketball. We have some real gritty and grimy guys out there. That’s the way we win.”

In a game that featured two teams that pride themselves on how hard they play, it was Memphis (6-1) who came up with all the big defensive stands and huge shots in the fourth quarter every time Oklahoma City (6-3) made a run.

After getting the lead down to 97-89 with more than four minutes left, it looked like Oklahoma City was set to take off. But Memphis just went down low to Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph on consecutive trips and they restored order. The Thunder had no answer and fans began to stream out of the building.

Rudy Gay was unstoppable for Memphis. He poured in 28 points with Kevin Durant guarding him the entire night. He was 12 of 21 from the floor, hauled in six rebounds and had five assists.

Randolph added 20 points and 11 rebounds before he was tossed out of the game after getting into an altercation with the Thunder’s Kendrick Perkins. Both players are reported to have gotten into another altercation after leaving the court near the locker rooms.

“Oh yeah, it felt like a playoff game,” Randolph said. “The intensity, and it was very physical out there. The intensity was there and the guys were playing hard and going hard. It definitely felt like a playoff game.”

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