MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP)—Jeff Green had 27 points and 10 rebounds, Russell Westbrook added 25 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 99-92 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night.
The Thunder won despite playing without Kevin Durant, the league’s fourth-leading scorer with a 26.0 average, who suffered a right ankle sprain in Friday night’s 110-108 overtime loss to Dallas. Durant is listed as day-to-day.
Thabo Sefolosha, playing only his fourth game for Oklahoma City after a trade from Chicago, recorded 15 points and 11 rebounds, season-highs in both categories. Nenad Krstic also scored 10 points.
Rudy Gay scored 20 points to lead Memphis, which lost its seventh straight. O.J. Mayo finished with 18 points, while Mike Conley had 17.
Oklahoma City led by 12 with 7:25 left before Memphis cut into the advantage, eventually getting within 95-92 when Mayo hit one of two free throws with 18.1 second left. But Memphis couldn?t overtake the Thunder.
Memphis didn’t help its situation with trouble from the free-throw line, shooting 63 percent (19-of-30).
Both teams shot well from the field early. Memphis was hitting at a 60 percent clip, but the Thunder hit nine of their first 10 shots for an early 13-point lead.
Sixteen of the Thunder?s 29 first-quarter points were in the paint.
Meanwhile, the Grizzlies failed to reach 20 points in the opening stanza for the 21st time this season. Memphis has only won once when it doesn?t score at least 20 to in the first quarter.
And if the scoring wasn?t bad enough, Memphis was throwing the ball all over the place with wild passes, even after good plays. The 10 turnovers led to 15 first-half points for Oklahoma City.
Memphis improved its shooting, but still couldn’t overtake the Thunder, who took a 56-45 lead into halftime. Westbrook had 15 for the Thunder, while Green collected 13. Mayo and Darrell Arthur had 11 apiece for Memphis.
The Thunder continued to maintain a double-digit lead through the early minutes of the third quarter, the advantage eventually reaching 15. Memphis would chip away, cutting it to 64-58 when Conley stole the ball and scored on a layup.
But Oklahoma City scored 10 straight to get the lead back to double digits before carrying a 77-61 lead into the final period.