The Oklahoma City Thunder produced the gasp-inducing, GIF-inspiring moments but the Memphis Grizzles withstood the barrage of highlight-reel heroics to emerge with a hard-fought playoff win.
"It was just staying confident, understanding that those guys are going to make runs," Memphis guard Tony Allen said after his team escaped with a thrilling 111-105 overtime win in Oklahoma City on Monday night, via NBA.com. "We've got to weather the storm by staying together and not getting down."
With the Thunder holding a 1-0 led in the best-of-seven playoff series, the Grizzlies came out strong to start Game 2. Memphis led 24-16 after the first quarter and held a nine-point lead with less than 7:30 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Grizzlies still held a six-point lead as the clock ticked under five minutes but the Thunder struck back late.
The Thunder's dynamic duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook produced a quick 5-0 run to cut the Grizzlies lead to 87-86 with 3:15 remaining. Westbrook's emphatic dunk had the crowd at Chesapeake Energy Arena going appropriately wild.
(GIF via @HPbasketball)
The Grizzlies rebuilt their lead to 98-93 in the final minute but the Thunder weren't out of amazing just yet. Durant authored an unforgettable four-point play to pull the Thunder within a point of the Grizzlies with 13.3 seconds remaining.
(GIF via @BenGolliver)
The fourth-quarter surge was capped by yet another jaw-dropping score for the Thunder. With time running out in regulation and the Grizzlies leading 99-97, Westbrook launched a contested, off-balance shot from the wing. Unlike Durant's miracle shot, this one didn't drop through the net. Instead, it dropped into the hands of Thunder center Kendrick Perkins. Without a made field goal to that point in the game, Perkins laid in the game-tying bucket as time expired.
(GIF via @JDonSports)
With an extra five minutes of free basketball added to the game, the Grizzlies quickly regained the lead by scoring the first four points of overtime. The Thunder again rallied and eventually pulled even at 105-105 with just 35 seconds remaining.
"Basically it's just going to be a slugfest," Allen said after the game, via The Associated Press. "We're going to pound it. They're going to run it. Whoever can come up with the most stops pretty much wins the game."
Over the last 35 seconds, the Grizzlies got the stops they needed to pull out an incredible 111-105 win to even up the series 1-1.