Pro basketball

Thunder hopes for grizzly ending tonight

2011-05-12T16:00:00Z 2011-05-13T03:25:03Z Thunder hopes for grizzly ending tonightBy Jeff Latzke AP Sports Writer nwitimes.com
May 12, 2011 4:00 pm  • 

OKLAHOMA CITY | Back at home for Game 5, the Oklahoma City Thunder made quick work of a Grizzlies team they needed so long to vanquish in Memphis.

Now, it's back to the house of overtimes.

Kevin Durant scored 19 points, reserve Daequan Cook added 18 and the Thunder took the series lead in the Western Conference semifinals for the first time by beating the Grizzlies 99-72 on Wednesday night.

Just two nights after Oklahoma City needed three overtimes to emerge with a 133-123 victory, Durant and fellow All-Star Russell Westbrook weren't even needed in the fourth quarter of a blowout.

"We don't want to be overconfident, I think, but I think we've got a good level of confidence," Durant said. "There's a difference. There's a fine line between being cocky and confident."

Game 6 is tonight in Memphis. Another sellout crowd is expected at the FedEx Forum, where the Grizzlies claimed Game 3 in overtime — just one overtime.

"I think our confidence is at a solid level," said Westbrook, who scored 11 in 25 minutes — half his playing time from the previous game.

"We know that it's going to be loud in there and going to be tough in a hostile environment. We've just got to go in there and play our game defensively. If we go in with a positive mindset, I think we'll be all right."

Marc Gasol had 15 points to lead Memphis, which got outrebounded 50-33 and didn't have much left after such a draining loss on its home court.

The Grizzlies shot a season-worst 36 percent, matched their lowest point total from the regular season and never put up much of a fight in the second half.

"We didn't have the mental edge to win on the road in the playoffs," Shane Battier said. "We just didn't have it. As a result we didn't make the plays."

By the end, Durant was wearing one of the same white Thunder T-shirts as the sellout crowd and was standing on the sidelines directing the lineup of reserves that got to play in garbage time.

"It's always better for the home team in these situations, and the team that won the game," Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said. "Not only were we physically down, we were probably down a little bit mentally, but I'm not making excuses for our group.

"We didn't play very well. We didn't shoot the ball very well. We missed a ton of layups."

After a classic Game 4, when the Thunder had chances to win at the end of regulation and each of the first two overtimes, Brooks said it was like "three wins in one."

It may have won them at least two.

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