By Teresa M. Walker/The Associated Press
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Zach Randolph had 21 points and a franchise-record 21 rebounds, and the Memphis Grizzlies rallied from a 16-point deficit to stun the Oklahoma City Thunder 101-93 in overtime Saturday and grab a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference semifinal.
The Grizzlies are trying to do something no NBA team has done in climbing from the No. 8 seed all the way to the Western Conference finals. They moved two wins away from that by remaining undefeated on their home court this postseason.
They did it with an amazing comeback in a game the Grizzlies couldn’t have looked more out of synch or rusty early, but scored the first six points of overtime to finish off the victory.
Kevin Durant, the NBA’s scoring leader in the regular season and these playoffs, took only three shots in overtime and missed them all. He finished with 22 points, his lowest this postseason after averaging 31.6 points coming in.
O.J. Mayo had 18 points off the bench. Mike Conley also scored 18, Marc Gasol had 16 and Tony Allen 10.
Russell Westbrook had 23 points and 12 assists, but committed seven turnovers and fouled out late in overtime for the Thunder. Serge Ibaka had 14 points and James Harden 12.
Oklahoma City was up 70-54 on Kendrick Perkins’ tip-in with 3:53 left in the third and seemed in control with Westbrook scoring 13 points in the period.
Memphis erased that lead with a 13-2 run and outscored Oklahoma City 23-10 in the fourth quarter, then 15-7 in overtime. The Thunder hit just 3 of 12 in the extra period.
With the score tied at 86, both teams had a chance to win in regulation.
Thunder coach Scott Brooks took a timeout with 18 seconds to go, having to holler to get referee Ken Mauer’s attention in the roaring FedExForum. Durant missed a 20-footer off the back rim as the shot clock buzzer sounded with 4 seconds left, but Randolph’s own 3 for the win clanked off the rim at the buzzer.
Memphis took over in overtime. First, Allen drove for a layup, then Conley scored on a layup. Allen then hit two free throws for a 92-86 lead with 2:56 left. The Grizzlies polished the win off at the free throw line, hitting 9 of 12.
The Grizzlies, coming off a three-day layoff that was their longest break in a couple weeks, didn’t give their sellout crowd much to cheer until late.
Oklahoma City scored the first five points, and the Thunder did what worked so well Tuesday night by collapsing whenever Memphis tried to pass the ball into the paint.
Memphis led 28-24 when the Thunder went on a 16-3 run and grabbed a 40-31 lead on a pair of free throws by Westbrook. Oklahoma City outscored Memphis 31-21 in the quarter and led 51-43 at halftime.
Conley didn’t score until 4:45 left in the first half on a fast-break layup.
NOTES: The Grizzlies had played in May only twice previously, and they were eliminated from the postseason in both games. Phoenix handled the honors May 1, 2005, and Dallas ended the Grizzlies’ season May 1, 2006. … The Grizzlies were 2-5 in overtime games in the regular season and now are 1-1 this postseason.