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NBA playoffs: Thunder and Pacers win conf. semifinal opening games

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For the Grizzlies, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph each had double-doubles – Gasol with 20 points, Randolph with 18, while pulling down ten rebounds apiece; but they got little help from the rest of their team, with former Ohio State star Mike Conley hitting only 5-15 from the floor for 13 total points.

Grizzlies’ forward Quincy Pondexter got his teammates pumped at the half by hitting a three-point, half-court shot with no time remaining. But that emotion eventually fizzled as Oklahoma City made the adjustment against Memphis’ Jerryd Bayless, who after hitting for ten points in the first half (including two three-point shots), was effectively shut out in the second half. And even though the Thunder were outscored 27-17 in the third quarter, they came charging back – largely due to Durant’s shotmaking – to outscore the Grizzlies, 29-18, in the fourth.

And after seeing how this thriller concluded, let there be no doubt that little things mean a lot. Oklahoma City was 22-25 (88%) from the free throw line, while Memphis tanked in that category, hitting only 58% on 14 of 24 attempts from the charity stripe. This, as much as K.D.’s heroics, won the game for the Thunder.

Knicks Outhustled at Home by a Balanced Pacers Team

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