Grizzlies Knock Out Thunder to Get to Their First Conference Final May 16, 2013 09:40
Coming into the playoffs, many people would have had their money on a Miami vs Thunder final, but that ending to the playoffs was destroyed last night when the Memphis Grizzlies closed out the Thunder, in an 88 - 84 game 5 victory.
Kevin Durant was having a great season, until these past few playoff games, and he's been playing without his right-hand man Russell Westbrook. Game 5 was no different. He finished just 5 for 21 on the night, with 21 points, 11 of which were free-throws. His poor performance can, in the majority, be put down to the fact that Memphis really closed him out on defence, throwing everything that they had at him, to remove the threat. It worked.
Grizzlies forward, Zach Randolph, had a monster night against the Thunder, with 28 points and 14 rebounds, helping his team to their first ever conference final. Even with the win though, the Grizzlies didn't shoot that much better than the Thunder. They were .37 from the floor, with Mike Conley adding 13 points to go with 11 assists, Tony Allen dropped 11 and Marc Gasol put up 10.
After the game, Kevin Durant said; "We came up short, Memphis made it tough on us all series. That last play I was just trying to get an open look and I had one, but my shot was too long. It's tough to lose your last game in the playoffs and down the road we'll probably look back on this and appreciate these tough times. Sometimes you gotta ride out the storms to get to the sunshine."
Thunder coach Scott Brooks was also quick to point out that the defeat was not going to be placed on the shoulders of Durant; "We didn't lose the game because one guy didn't shoot the ball well, we lost the game because they were a little bit better than us."
Memphis now heads into the Western Conference Finals, where they will face either the San Antonio Spurs or the Golden State Warriors.