Kevin Durant scored 35 points, Jeff Green added 23 on a career-high five 3-pointers and the Oklahoma City Thunder recovered after blowing a late 10-point lead to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 114-102 in overtime Wednesday night.
Rudy Gay capped Memphis’ comeback when he put back Mike Conley’s missed 3-pointer as time expired in regulation, but the Grizzlies didn’t score again after his basket to open overtime.
Gay finished with 25 points to lead Memphis, which lost its 11th straight game and fell to 0-2 under new coach Lionel Hollins.
Durant started a 14-0 run by the Thunder with a jumper from the right wing and added a two-handed jam off of Russell Westbrook’s missed layup and four free throws as Oklahoma City pulled away in the extra period. The Grizzlies missed their last eight shots after Gay opened overtime by driving past Green along the left baseline for a layup and the lead.
The Grizzlies hadn’t scored more than 91 points during their losing streak, but came alive late to tie send the game into overtime after trailing by 14 in the fourth quarter and by 12 with less than 5 minutes to play.
O.J. Mayo scored six straight points from the free-throw line as the Grizzlies got to 98-94 in the final 2 minutes, and Memphis then scored the final six points of regulation to tie the game at 100 and force the extra period.
Westbrook added 16 points, and Chucky Atkins had 10 in only his second game since joining the Thunder in a trade three weeks ago. After starting the season with a league-worst 3-29 record, the Thunder have been playing above .500 ball since New Year’s Eve and moved past Washington earlier this week to get out of the basement. Combined with Sacramento’s loss at Boston, Oklahoma City no longer has the worst record in the Western Conference.
Mayo scored 17 points and Conley and Marc Gasol added 15 apiece for Memphis. Conley also had a career-high nine assists.
Green set a new career-best when he connected on his fifth 3-pointer from the right wing to give the Thunder the lead and spark a 12-1 run late in the third quarter. He also finished off the surge with a jumper from the right side to put Oklahoma City up 81-71 at the end of the third period.
In the middle of the run, Desmond Mason, Oklahoma City’s starting forward, had to be helped to the locker room by two teammates after hyperextending his right knee while coming back down after blocking a layup by Kyle Lowry.
The Thunder looked as though they had put the game away when Westbrook stole a pass and streaked downcourt for a two-handed jam, but he was called for a technical foul for hanging on the rim and Memphis immediately started its comeback.
After Mayo hit the free throw off of Westbrook’s technical, Gay came back with a dunk of his own and Gasol added a three-point play off of a tip-in to help the Grizzlies inch closer. Then Mayo, who shot just 4-for-15 from the field, made the comeback realistic with his foul shots.
It still wasn’t enough as Memphis lost its eighth straight on the road. The Grizzlies are 1-15 in their last 16 road games, with the only win coming in Oklahoma City.
Memphis made 15 of its first 18 shots and raced out to an early 14-point lead during a 37-point first quarter, its highest-scoring period of the season. Led by seven points from Atkins, Oklahoma City was able to chip away and even take a brief lead on Durant’s layup in the final minute of the second quarter.
Conley hit a free throw with 0.4 seconds left to give Memphis a 57-56 lead at halftime.