The Thunder were playing from behind for much of the game, and with the exception of Serge Ibaka, could never really make inroads against Randolph and Gasol, who batted away balls with regularity. On offense, the Grizzlies were able to drive the lane almost at will, with Prince, Conley and Tony Allen (who had 11 points on the night) supplementing the post play of Randolph and Gasol. In addition, Thunder big man Kendrick Perkins was particularly disappointing on both ends of the floor, with only 2 points and 3 rebounds. There were moments of tension during the game between him and Durant, and that didn’t help either.
Oklahoma City, who like Memphis had four scorers in double-figures, had their chances inside - they had 38 points in the paint to Memphis’ 36 and took second-chance points, 16-11 – but they also turned the ball over 14 times, which the opportunistic Grizzlies converted into 22 points.
Oklahoma City ended the third quarter with a 16-4 scoring drive, but that was countered by a 10-2 Memphis run to start the fourth. Down at the time by 11, the Thunder’s run was started by a curious play with 5 minutes to go in the third: missing a three from in front of the Grizzlies’ bench, the Thunder’s Derek Fisher had been distracted by a shirt that had been thrown to the side of him on the floor, courtesy of Memphis’ Tony Allen. Fisher was given the three, Allen was assessed a technical, and it was an instant four-point turnaround that got the home team’s momentum going again.