Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Memphis Grizzlies
The Oklahoma City Thunder look to recover from a blown opportunity and even the series as they visit the Memphis Grizzlies in Game Four. The Grizzlies are 2-point home favorites over the Thunder with an over/under point total set at 198.
The Oklahoma City Thunder showed their inexperience on Saturday as they stormed out of the gate only to blow a double-digit lead in the second half in dramatic fashion. The Thunder were held to just 10 points in the fourth quarter as the Grizzlies pushed Overtime and maintained the momentum in the added frame. Russell Westbrook fell victim to his classic flaw of overshooting as the young point guard went just 7-22 on the night and seemed to forget he was sharing the court with Kevin Durant. The Memphis defense did their part holding OKC to just 36.6% shooting, but the Thunder were their own worst enemy on many of the final possessions. The Thunder were able to respond after losing game one and runaway for a game two victory, but the Fed Ex Forum has been unkind to them all season as they have now lost all three meetings in the venue on the season.
The Memphis Grizzlies showcased the cornerstones of their success this season with a gritty, physical effort. Tony Allen was the main catalyst for success as his defensive pressure forced errant shots and palpable frustration for Kevin Durant. Zach Randolph completed the effort with 21 points and a staggering 21 rebounds as he overcame early irritation to contribute like an All-Star as the game wore on. The Grizzlies find themselves in a familiar spot, having taken a 3-1 series lead on the Spurs after playing out the first three games in the same pattern.
This is a difficult spot as the Grizzlies are the better defensive team and possess a strong home court edge as well as the momentum that accompanies a comeback win. The under has now dropped 4 points from the game three opening line of 202, but I’m going to ride the stance again even after OT gave us a scare before cashing the ticket last game. Both teams are young and can run which leads to up-tempo stretches, but when things settle down each team has the presence to force the other into long stretches of tough contested shots. I’m going with the under 198 tonight.
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