Grizzlies Silence Thunder, Force Game 7

Zach Randolph scored 12 of his game-high 30 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Memphis Grizzlies over the Oklahoma City Thunder, 95-83, and extend their Eastern Conference semifinal series to a deciding Game 7.

The Thunder appeared ready to wrap up the series in the second quarter, when they built a double-digit lead behind the exploits of Russell Westbrook and James Harden, who scored nine points each in the period as Memphis outscored Oklahoma, 33-2. The Grizzlies started the second half with an 11-2 run to come within one of the Thunder with just over five minutes gone in the third period. Memphis took the lead for good, 67-65, with 2:10 remaining in the third period.

The game remained tight in the fourth quarter before Randolph took over in the middle of the period with back-to-back baskets that gave the Grizzles a 78-71 lead with eight minutes left. Oklahoma would never threaten after that. OKC was led by Westbrook’s 27, but NBA scoring champ Kevin Durant struggled all night for 11 points.

The teams will return to action on Sunday for Game 7, with the Grizzlies looking to extend their longest playoff run. “This is where we want to be playing, Game 7, that one game to get to the Western Conference finals,” Randolph said.