The Memphis Grizzlies faced a 10-point halftime deficit against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but came roaring out of halftime with an 18-5 run and never looked back. The Grizzlies who advance to their first Game 7 in franchise history improve to 5-1 at home this postseason.
Coming off a Game 5 performance in which he scored a playoff-low nine points, Zach Randolph broke loose for 30 points and 13 rebounds in Game 6. This was his fourth 30-10 game this postseason and for some perspective, no other player has more than two such games. Not surprising, Randolph did most of his damage down low as he scored 18 of his 30 points in the paint.
The Grizzlies defense also stood firm as they held the Thunder to just 29 second-half points on 28.9 percent shooting. They also held the NBA’s leading scorer Kevin Durant to 11 points (career postseason low) and 21.4 percent (3 of 14) from the field, the worst playoff shooting performance of his career. In fact, Game 6 was Durant’s first career game with 35-plus minutes and 11 points or fewer. Also, in 331 career games played (including postseason), this is only his 12th time Durant has recorded 11 points or fewer.
Kevin Durant This Series
Over the last two games Durant has tallied 30 points total, which is interesting considering he’s had 30 or more points in five games this postseason.
As a team, the Thunder franchise falls to 4-22 in potential series clinching road playoff games. Good thing for Thunder fans, Game 7 is Sunday in Oklahoma City where they are 5-2 this postseason.
The Thunder will be playing in their eighth Game 7 in franchise history (4-3) and first since the 1997 Western Conference Semifinals. The Grizzlies meanwhile are just the fourth eight-seed in NBA history to force a Game 7. History is not on their side though as each of the previous three teams all lost.
This will be the first NBA Game 7 since the 2010 NBA Finals. In case you were wondering, the home team has won 80.2 percent of the time in Game 7s over the course of NBA history (85-21).