Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Memphis Grizzlies
The Oklahoma City Thunder visits the Memphis Grizzlies for Game Six with the Thunder leading the series 3-2. The Grizzlies are 2-point favorites over the Thunder with an over/under total set at 195.
The Oklahoma City Thunder stumbled out of the gate in game five in Oklahoma City, but it quickly became evident the Thunder had all the momentum from winning the triple overtime thriller in game four. Credit the Thunder defense to some degree, but the Grizzlies were their own worst enemy for the bulk of the night missing a staggering 18 lay-ups in the loss. The Thunder got a huge bench boost from Daequan Cook who drained four of five from downtown, allowing Durant and Westbrook to play just 31 and 25 minutes respectively. Nick Collison once again proved a formidable match for Zach Randolph down low which was probably the most encouraging take away for tonight’s contest.
The Memphis Grizzlies were clearly affected by traveling to a new city after a heartbreaking loss. The Grizzlies legs were simply dead and once they got down, they had no drive to make a comeback. Zach Randolph only managed 9 points and 7 rebounds in the effort as the Grizzlies shot just 36% as a team in the effort. Memphis also lost the battle of the boards in a huge way, 33-50. Home court advantage has been very important to Memphis in this post-season and figures to elevate them to maximum intensity once more.
Despite the lopsided outcome in game five, the Grizzlies were still impressive on the defensive end in the early going even though they failed to sustain it. The Thunder didn’t even make a basket until four and a half minutes into the game, but the Grizzlies didn’t capitalize by building a lead. The difference between this series and the Hawks Bulls is that the Grizzlies have actually been consistent on the defensive end in each game, tossing out the later stages of game five as a bit of a circumstantial outlier. I like the Grizzlies defense to propel them to victory here and force the Thunder to win this series in Oklahoma City. Take the Grizzlies minus the two.
Memphis Grizzlies -2 Oklahoma City Thunder