NBA Playoffs: Oklahoma City 93, Memphis 91: Thunder steals one away

2013-05-06T00:00:00Z NBA Playoffs: Oklahoma City 93, Memphis 91: Thunder steals one awayThe Associated Press The Associated Press
May 06, 2013 12:00 am  • 

OKLAHOMA CITY - Down by one in the final minute, Oklahoma City's Derek Fisher turned a tough situation for the Thunder into the worst-case scenario for the Grizzlies.

Fisher poked the ball away from Memphis' Mike Conley, springing three-time NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant into the open court with a chance to put the Thunder on top.

Durant pulled up and connected on a jumper with 11.1 seconds left for the last of his 35 points, lifting the Thunder to a 93-91 victory over the Grizzlies on Sunday in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.

"I just wanted to get up the floor as quick as possible and find a shot," said Durant. "That was the only shot I could find and, by the grace of God, it went in."

Game 2 is Tuesday night in Oklahoma City.

Thabo Sefolosha kept the Grizzlies from going back ahead, deflecting a pass that Conley was able to corral - but only after diving out of bounds. Reggie Jackson then hit a pair of free throws for a three-point lead, and Quincy Pondexter couldn't force overtime after getting fouled while attempting a three-pointer with 1.6 seconds left.

Pondexter, a 72 percent career free-throw shooter, missed the first free throw. He made his second attempt before intentionally missing the third, but Durant swatted the rebound away and Marc Gasol's attempt at a buzzer-beater was late.

"We couldn't get stops. That's why we lost," said Gasol, who had 20 points and 10 rebounds. "We didn't lose because of free throws."

Kevin Martin scored 25 for Oklahoma City, which trailed for much of the game but was able to avoid repeating its Game 1 loss from when these two teams met in the West semifinals two years ago. The Thunder was able to rally and win that series in seven.

Fisher, a five-time NBA champion who only joined the Thunder after asking to be released by Dallas for family reasons earlier in the season, turned this game around with his defense.

Conley had gotten past him on a drive to the basket when Fisher reached in from behind and knocked the ball free. It was just the stop Oklahoma City needed.

"He makes plays, whether it's tipping the ball out and getting a steal or hitting the big shot to start the fourth," Durant said. "Or just his leadership in the huddles and the locker room is big for us. We need that."

Today

• Bulls at Heat: 4 p.m. on TNT, Game 1

• Warriors at Spurs: 6:30 p.m. on TNT. Game 1

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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