The Oklahoma City Thunder dropped to 8th in the Western Conference standings on Monday night after falling to the Memphis Grizzlies 115-103.
The Thunder found themselves in a hole quickly as the Grizzlies scored the first 9 points of the game before taking a 16-2 lead just four minutes into the game. OKC was able to settle down and go on a 10-2 run over the next 3 minutes to make it 18-12, but a 2-11 (18.2%) start from three allowed Memphis to end the quarter with a 31-23 lead.
The second quarter featured a much better start for Oklahoma City as the Thunder put together an 11-2 run in under four minutes to take a 34-33 lead. The lead did not last for long, however, as the Grizzlies finally started hitting a shots.
Memphis not only regained the lead, but they pushed it back to double digits as they went up 51-41 at the 2:44 mark of the period. It appeared as if OKC would enter halftime with a double-digit deficit, but Paul George was able to score 4 quick points in the final 22 seconds to cut the deficit to 54-48.
The second half started off about as ugly as possible for the Thunder as the Grizzlies outscored the Thunder 17-6 through the first five-and-a-half minutes of the third quarter to take a 73-55 lead. OKC answered with a 12-0 run over the next two minutes to trim the deficit to 6, but Memphis would enter the final frame with an 86-78 lead.
The Thunder could not get it any closer than 7 points in the fourth as the Grizzlies stretched their lead to 13 with just a little under 5 minutes left in the game. OKC continued to fire jump shot after jump shot while Memphis was able to move the ball and rack up 31 assists in the game to cruise to a 115-103 victory over the Thunder.
Thunder Player of the Game
Dennis Schröder had his second solid game in a row as he finished the night with 25 points on 9-14 (64.3%) from the field, including 2-4 (50.0%) from three, to go along with 3 assists and 3 rebounds. Schröder seems to be finding his shot just in time for playoffs, and if the Thunder continues to play as poorly as they have lately, they are definitely going to need what he brings.
The Thunder gets to head home for a 5-game road stand. Perhaps playing in front of the home crowd could turn things around to end the season for OKC, and they kick it off with a 7 PM tip-off against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night. The game will be televised on ESPN and Fox Sports Oklahoma, and it will also be broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.
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