Friday, December 11, 2009

Griz-Thunder Live Blog

Posted By on Fri, Dec 11, 2009 at 7:07 PM

Alright. I'm courtside for Grizzlies-Thunder.

Let's do this.

Marc Gasol needs to break out tonight.

First Quarter:

Thunder jump out 9-2 as Griz not converting good opportunities. And a quick timeout.

Krstic and Green outscoring Randolph and Gasol 10-4 and Thunder up 16-8. The match-ups I highlighted in the pre-game not going well for Grizzlies so far. Need to get more physical and more focused on getting interior shots coming out of the timeout.

To order: Randolph interior shot, Gasol follow.

Griz down 22-12 despite only two turnovers: Getting outscored in the paint (14-12) and down (-1) on offensive boards, two areas where they should be excelling.

Griz down 27-14 and will try to mount a comeback with this lineup: Tinsley-Young-Carroll-Rudy-Thabeet.

Thabeet with multiple plays: Smothers a James Harden lay-up attempt (#2 on #3 pick violence), runs floor, finishes lay-up off Tinsley feed. Baby steps.

Thunder up 29-18 at the end of the first. Marc Gasol the only Griz player with multiple field goals. All just about energy and shot-making so far. Griz still have an interior advantage to exploit, but need to do it. Zach Randolph with 2 points on 1-4 shooting and 0 rebounds not a good start.

Second Quarter:
Thabeet blocks Harden again, but lets Nick Collison grab an offensive rebound standing flat-footed, drawing first boos of the night.

Griz with 24 points, all in the paint. Still waiting for the the team's first made jump shot. Thunder has no-one who can guard Marc Gasol, who is the lone bright spot so far (8 points on 4-5 shooting, 4 boards). He needs to be fed. But it would also be nice to make a jump shot.

Zach Randolph having a nightmare half: 1-5, no boards, turnovers, getting shot blocked. And all against what should be favorable match-ups.

Mike Conley corner three is Griz' first made jumper of the game. Still down 12, 32-44.

Griz creep toward a single-digit deficit but can't quite get there. O.J. Mayo with some inexplicable turnovers. Hopefully's Randolph's putback bucket before timeout will get him untracked.

Rudy drive and foul, hits both, has Griz within single digits (temporarily) for first time in a while.

Griz down 56-42 at the end of a truly terrible first half.

Team's three leading scorers — Gay, Randolph, Mayo — combined for 14 points on 6-21 shooting. Thunder beating Griz on offensive boards 9-4. Thunder have as many made threes (2) and Griz have made jumpers.

Griz came back from a bad first half against the Cavs. Can they do so again? We will see.

Third Quarter:

Cavs game deja vu: Griz come out with purpose, picking up defensive intensity and executing better. 6-0 run to start half and lead to early OKC timeout. 48-56

Somebody woke up Z-Bo at halftime: 9 points and 8 boards in 6 minutes. Now a 5-point game.

Griz back to within one, 65-66. Mike Conley alternating great plays with bad ones, which is an improved ratio over early in the season. A one-point game despite 1-10 shooting from Rudy.

Marc Gasol with an inspired defensive possession — trapped furiously up top and dropping down to swat a shot. Griz a LEAD?!?

Griz up 70-66 as the bench checks in, Tinsley and Thabeet for Conley and Gasol. Will the momentum hold? (And Young for Mayo earlier.)

Griz lead it 70-66 after an inspired 28-10 quarter. Kevin Durant 1-8 in the quarter after 7-12 in first half. Rudy Gay locked in on defense despite his own terrible shooting (2-12). We're set up for a great fourth quarter.

Fourth Quarter:

Thunder on a 12-3 run to start the fourth. Seven minutes to play. Griz need to find that third-quarter spark soon.

Griz show some signs down the stretch, but not enough. 85-94, 1:08. Signing off.

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