The Memphis Grizzlies will take confidence from their late rally into Game 2 tonight, Monday April 21st, when they take on the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder defeated the Grizzlies 100-86 on Saturday night in the opening game of their first-round playoff series. OKC was the only home team to win on the first day of the playoffs, but they nearly made it four losses for higher seeds after getting outscored in the third quarter. This time around oddsmakers have the Thunders as -7 point home favorites over the Grizzlies with the total set at 189.5 points. These teams have traditionally played painfully close games and the playoffs are no different. Be sure to check NBA Playoff Spreads for all games on tap.
The Grizzlies (0-1, 0-1 V) Zach Randolph led with 21 points and 11 rebounds, but he made just seven of 21 shots and got into foul trouble in the second half. Mike Conley had 16 points and 11 assists, Marc Gasol scored 16 points and Tony Allen added 13 points for the Grizzlies. Memphis might have stolen the game if not for a miserable first half. Memphis shot just 36 per cent from the field and made just 18 of 31 free throws.
“We’ve got to make adjustments to get off to a better start,” Randolph said. “We can’t exert so much energy trying to come back from 20 points. It’s the first game, we’ve got to stick together. We’ve been here before, we know what we’ve got to do and come out and be ready for Monday.”
The Grizzlies hit just two of their 11 3-point attempts in Game 1, and while that’s not at all the name of their game, the inability to space the floor really clogged their offense at times. They scored 50 points in the paint, which is what they want to do, but not getting anything from Mike Miller — three points on 1 of 6 shooting — or Courtney Lee — eight points but 0 of 0 from 3 — meant the Thunder could crash down on Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph.
The Grizzlies need a good start. The Thunder notoriously can start fast because of the burst of energy Russell Westbrook gives them from tipoff. After two minutes in Game 1, it was 8-0. Then it was 14-2. The Grizzlies aren’t the kind of team that plays well from behind, because despite that third quarter push, they very much prefer to set their own tone and control the tempo of the game.
Tayshaun Prince, who sat the second half of Game 1 with an illness, is expected to be back in the starting five.
The Thunder (1-0, 1-0 H) Kevin Durrant scored 33 points, Russell Westbrook had 23 points and 10 rebounds and Serge Ibaka added 17 points and nine rebounds. Durant has scored 30 or more points 23 times during the postseason.
Oklahoma City’s bench didn’t have a double-digit performer but received decent contributions from guard Reggie Jackson (nine points, eight rebounds, four assists), forward Caron Butler (nine points, five rebounds) and center Steven Adams (three blocks).
Recent Betting Trends to Consider:
Favorite is 4-0-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings.
Home team is 3-0-1 ATS in the last 4 meetings.
Over is 14-6 in the last 20 meetings in Oklahoma City.
Grizzlies are 1-3-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings.
Thunder are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 home games.
Thunder are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. Western Conference.
Grizzlies are 1-8-1 ATS in their last 10 road games.
Grizzlies are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Grizzlies are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 vs. NBA Northwest.
Memphis at Oklahoma City
When: Monday April 21@8:00 PM ET
Pick: Thunder -7
The Bottom Line: expect more from the Grizzlies. We recommend you sign up with Sportsbook to receive a 10% sign up bonus heading into the Memphis at Oklahoma City game.