Fans got their money’s worth and more when they were treated to free basketball last night when the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder in overtime by a score of 100-99.
Despite having home court advantage for situations like this, the Thunder just wasn’t able to pull ahead and secure a victory for Game 5 of the Playoffs. Instead, it was the Grizzlies who moved ahead, winning three games out of the series.
"That's what we do," said Memphis forward Zach Randolph in an interview. "Nothing comes easy for us. We get it out the mud. We grind it. We're underdogs and we just keep playing and playing."
In this fourth straight game that has gone into overtime between the two, the Thunder’s Kevin Durant missed a long three-pointer with 2.9 seconds remaining in the extra quarter. Serge Ibaka tipped the ball in, which seemingly made the Thunder the victors of the game.
Officials reviewed the shot, however, and determined the ball was released after the buzzer. The three points were removed from the score and the Grizzlies took the win.
''I had a good look at it and I thought it was good when it left my hand,'' said Durant.'' And then Serge's follow shot was just late. It was a tough finish but we've got to come back.''
The Thunder displayed an impressive comeback attempt, as the team was down by 20 points in the third quarter. Oklahoma City only trailed by six at the start of the fourth quarter and eventually took a 79-78 lead.
It was a series of events in overtime however that put the nail in the coffin for the Thunder. With 27.5 seconds left in the quarter, Durant made the first of two free throws, bringing the score to 100-99 in Memphis’ favor.
Before Durant took his second shot, referee Joey Crawford took the ball from him and walked over to the scorer’s table. Crawford began shouting at the scoreboard operator asking him to make a change. The players were unaware of what Crawford was asking the scorer to do. After the delay, Durant, the NBA’s scoring champion who is an 87-percent free throw shooter during the regular season, missed the second shot.
The two teams will face off against each other in Memphis tonight for Game 6 of the playoff series.
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