Found March 20, 2013 on
In their quest for first place in the Western Conference, the Oklahoma City Thunder must do a better job of defending the paint and snap out of a perimeter shooting funk.
Especially considering they'll be on the road Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies, who have won eight straight at home and continue to score inside effectively.
Even with Tuesday's 114-104 home loss to Denver, the Thunder (50-18) have still won 11 of 14. But with 1 1/2 games separating them from West-leading San Antonio, each game is crucial.
Oklahoma City had no answers for the Nuggets inside, giving up a season-worst 72 points in the paint while mustering 50 of their own.
Memphis presents another big challenge as it is seventh in the league in points in the paint per game at 43.2.
The Thunder are third in the league in 3-point shooting at 38.3 percent, but their hitting just 27.8 percent of their shots from distance over the last six games. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have hit a combined 10 of their 43 3-point attempts over that stretch.
Catching fire could prove difficult against the Grizzlies, who have held opponents to 26.5 percent 3-point shooting over their last five home games.
"We missed shots that we normally make and dunks and 3-pointers weren't going," Kevin Durant told the league's official website after the Thunder went 4 for 25 from deep against Denver. "We fought and we've got to stay positive because we've got a game tomorrow. We just have to continue to stay positive and keep pushing."
Oklahoma City has been the league's best team after losses since the start of last season, going 29-6 in games immediately following defeats.
Memphis (45-21) had ended a season-high four-game road trip with two straight losses before bouncing back with a 92-77 home win over Minnesota on Monday.
Percentage points ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers for third place in the West, the Grizzlies not only have their sights set on obtaining home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, but they're also well within striking distance of the franchise record for wins. With 16 games left, Memphis is five victories short of the 50 it earned in 2003-04.
"We're trying to build something special," coach Lionel Hollins told the league's official website. "I don't know if we can do it or not, but we've got to work toward it. And that's to contend for a championship."
Mike Conley had a rough shooting stretch during the road trip, going 19 of 54 (35.2 percent) and had seven turnovers in a loss at Denver on Friday, but he had 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting with six assists against the Timberwolves.
Jerryd Bayless is riding a string of strong performances, averaging 16.3 points over his last three games on 7-of-14 shooting from long distance. He's scoring 7.6 points per game this season as a 35.4 percent 3-point shooter.
The teams split two meetings in Oklahoma City earlier this season with Durant totaling 61 points and 17 rebounds. He's averaging 30.0 points while shooting 50.8 percent from the field over his last 16 games against the Grizzlies.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Kevin Durant couldn't get a shot off at the end of regulation and he could barely get one to fall all night.
In overtime, Russell Westbrook's miserable night continued with a pair of terrible decisions.
But then it looked like things were going to work out.
Durant responded with a jumper. Westbrook's dribble-drive and layup gave the Thunder a lead before Marc Gasol...
The Oklahoma City Thunder lost an important Western Conference showdown with the red-hot Denver Nuggets on Tuesday.
They did not go down easy in the 114-104 defeat as Reggie Jackson threw down a power dunk on the Nuggets JaVale McGee.
Please click here to watch this video.
The post Video: Oklahoma City Thunder guard Reggie Jackson does JaVale McGee dirty appeared first on Players View.
Kevin Durant had 34 points and seven rebounds and Russell Westbrook added 25 points and six assists as the Oklahoma City Thunder fell to the Denver Nuggets 114-104 in front of another sell out crowd Tuesday night. Oklahoma City fell to 30-5 at home on the season. It was just their second home loss in [...]
Oklahoma City visited Dallas the other night to let the people of the Lone Star State see the KD show. The three-time scoring champion then went on an offensive frenzy in the fourth before watching his supporting cast finish off the Dallas Mavericks. Durant scored 19 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter, Russell Westbrook had 35 including the go-ahead jumper with 1 minute left...
Gilbert Arenas is one of the many stars forced into exile before his career was truly over.
Both he and Tracy McGrady (and to some extent Allen Iverson) all were forced out of the league despite a willingness and, perhaps an ability, to still contribute to a team. Perception and reputation has ruled and ruined their chances at playing in the league as few NBA teams believe guys...
The Memphis Grizzlies' Mark Gasol's knee ends up in a very unfortunate place for Oklahoma City's Nick Collision.
Marc Gasol went up for a layup during the Grizzlies 90-89 overtime win over the Thunder and his knee found its way into Nick Collison’s groin. It was definitely unintentional but it doesn’t change the fact that it will make you cringe when you see it.
Article found on: Next Impulse Sports
Like drafting Bernard Berrian, Lee Evans, or Josh Johnson on your fantasy team, some things, no matter how hard you try not to have them happen, just always seem to happen. My kryptonite is watching the movie Step Up 2: the Streets and if it’s on TBS during the middle of the day you can be sure that I’m going to watch for an extended period of time.
What it is about the movie...
Mike Conley had 20 points and six assists and the Memphis Grizzlies snapped a two-game losing streak with a 92-77 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.
Conley was 8 of 14 from the field and connected on 3 of 6 from beyond the arc to help Memphis its 10th straight win in the series. Marc Gasol finished with 16 points and Jerryd Bayless added 15. Zach Randolph had...
IN THE CLUTCH
The Memphis Grizzles and the Oklahoma City were in a tightly contested match that went into overtime Wednesday night, and would come down to the last possession with 13.6 seconds remaining on the shot clock. It would be Marc Gasol who would be Memphis’ hero who tipped in the ball off of a Zach Randolph [...]The post Marc Gasol Defeats OKC Thunder With Game-Winning Tip-In (Video...
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Mike Conley had 20 points and six assists and the Memphis Grizzlies snapped a two-game losing streak with a 92-77 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.
Conley was 8 of 14 from the field and connected on 3 of 6 from beyond the arc to help Memphis its 10th straight win in the series. Marc Gasol finished with 16 points and Jerryd Bayless added...
Spring break, weather is getting nice again, St. Paddy’s day, and Thunder basketball. Isn’t it a wonderful time of the year. 1. For those of you that are big into the oil game, you know about Daniel Grubb of SandRidge Energy. For those of you that don’t, he’s stepping down as COO, but won’t be [...]
Just a couple of kids having fun playing basketball.