OKLAHOMA CITY —
Game two is Tuesday in Oklahoma City.
“We knew that’s how the series is going to be,” Kevin Martin said. “It will be a grind-it-out-series. It felt like we would be in great position if we came out in the right defensive mindset. So that’s what we did.”
Durant finished with 35 points, 15 rebounds and six assists. It was his play in the final minutes that stood out.
“We made a good defensive play, and they have such a great team defense,” Durant said. “I just wanted to get it up the floor as quick as possible and find a shot. That was the only shot I could find, and by the grace of God it went in.”
Kevin Martin came off the Thunder bench to score 25 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field. Jackson added 12 points.
Gasol paced Memphis with 20 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. Zach Randolph scored 18 points and had 10 rebounds. Conley chipped in with 13 points and three assists.
Oklahoma City couldn’t have started the game any worse than it did. They missed their first eight shots from the floor and spotted the Grizzlies a 7-0 advantage before the first time-out.
But Durant began to assert himself. There had been talk before the game that Prince could guard Durant by himself and free up the rest of the Grizzlies defenders. Durant put that to rest quickly with 10 points in the first quarter.
Martin continued his hot shooting from Game 6 against the Rockets. He came out of the first-round series with more confidence in his offensive skills. Instead of just settling for open 3-pointers, he began to take defenders off the dribble and create his own shot.
“It was moving without the ball, guys getting screens and guys finding me,” Martin said. “We’ve got a nice little flow going right now. We’re just making an extra effort to get everyone involved.”