The Thunder coasted for the first half, hung on for the second and took down a Game One victory with only the slightest bit of warning from the Grizzlies.
Oklahoma City built as much as a 25-point lead in the first half and held a 20-point lead at halftime. It looked easy for Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook as they dominated a Grizzlies team that felt a step slow.
Oh, but there was some grit and some grind. Memphis whittled the lead down to four points in the second half and made Oklahoma City sweat. A 20-point lead could be erased that easily? By THIS Memphis offense?!
In the end, the Thunder had the offense and had the Kevin Durant-ness to hold off the Grizzlies and earn that 1-0 series lead — becoming the only home team to win on the Playoffs’ opeing day.
Kevin Durant scored 33 points and Russell Westbrook had 23 points. Only Serge Ibaka with 17 points scored in double figures for the Thunder in the game. Oklahoma City tallied 31 fast break points in the game.
But the offensive inequality and inefficiency caught up with them. Memphis was able to slow the game down and take care of the glass to put Oklahoma City in a bad spot in the third quarter. Memphis won the period 31-13 to make things interesting in the second half. The Grizzlies showed they would not go away.
Zach Randolph had 21 points and Marc Gasol and Mike Conley had 16 points each. Conley added 11 assists. Memphis got some gutsy efforts, as expected, even facing the large deficit.
Again, the fight has just begun.