The Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder (99-93) to tie the series 1-1 as they now head to Memphis. They found chance after chance because of finding the offensive rebounds and being successful with the second chance opportunities.
Memphis won the rebound game because of their offensive rebounds. Both teams had 27 defensive rebounds, but Memphis found the Game 2 win because of winning the offensive rebound battle 12-6. Those offensive boards led to second, third and sometimes fourth chance points on the same possession. Down the stretch, Memphis kept the lead and eventually went on to win because of their second chance opportunities.
While Memphis had twice the offensive rebounds, they had a 23-6 advantage in second chance points. The Thunder seemed lackadaisical grabbing the defensive rebounds and Memphis seized the opportunities. Memphis won because of that advantage. As in any game, specific players step up at different times. In this game, it was Memphis’ Zach Randolph and Mike Conley succeeding on the boards. Randolph had eight rebounds, while Conley had 10 total rebounds.
If the Thunder want to win this series, Kevin Durant can’t be your rebound leader. He had 11 rebounds in Game 2. Big man Kendrick Perkins will have to rise up to the challenge and get more than his season average of six rebounds per game.
Both teams were finding scoring chances and playing equal defense, but Memphis dominated the offensive boards and tied the series after two games. After watching the first two games of the series, this series will be decided on who wins the rebound battle and who can capitalize on second chance points.
In Game 1, the Thunder outrebounded Memphis 43-41 and won 93-91, and Memphis won the rebound battle in Game 2. Both teams have star players and role players who can step up when needed to, but this series will be decided by the rebounding game alone.
Game three of this series will tip-off on Saturday, May 11 at 5:00 p.m. ET.