National Basketball Association
Oklahoma City at Memphis
When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 31, 2015
Where: FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee
After his team's effort Wednesday against New York, Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said the Knicks outworked his club and that the Thunder need to fix that "soon." The Thunder, 3 1/2 games out of the eighth spot in the Western Conference, face a tough fix when they conclude a long road stretch against the red-hot Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday. Oklahoma City, which is playing its seventh and final road game in a stretch of eight games, has lost three of four after winning four straight.
Without Kevin Durant (toe) for a second straight game, Brooks wasn't satisfied with the effort in the embarrassing 100-92 loss to New York despite 40 points from Russell Westbrook. "The margin of error became a little smaller with Kevin not being on the floor," Brooks told reporters. "We have to be able to compensate for that, and it has to come from everybody." Even if Durant is ready to play, the margin of error will become even smaller against the Grizzlies, who have won five straight, nine of 10 and eight of the last nine on their own floor. TV:
8 p.m. ET, SportSouth (Memphis), FSN Oklahoma (Oklahoma City)ABOUT THE THUNDER (23-23):
Westbrook (25.2 points, 7.5 assists, 5.9 rebounds, 2.3 steals) is having a fantastic season and could join Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and LeBron James as the only players in NBA history to average 25 points, seven assists, six rebounds and two steals. However, the high-powered offense has failed to reach 100 points in regulation in six straight games for the first time since 2009-10 season. After the contest with the Grizzlies, Oklahoma City will play seven of its next 10 games at home. ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (33-12):
Memphis held Denver to 11 points in the first quarter, got 15 points and 17 rebounds from Zach Randolph and won without injured point guard Mike Conley (wrist) for the second straight game in the 99-69 pasting of the Denver Nuggets on Thursday. The Grizzlies may have had a little extra incentive, as it was learned earlier in the day that Conley failed to make his first All-Star game and Randolph also was not selected. “It was a big snub. We were supposed to get three," guard Tony Allen told reporters. "Are we honoring winning or is it more about notoriety? I just told the guys, ‘if they aren’t going to give us that, let’s finish up strong and win the championship game.’ That’s basically the mindset."BUZZER BEATERS
1. After the Thunder beat the Grizzlies in seven games in a first-round playoff series last season, Memphis beat Oklahoma City 91-89 on Nov. 7, but the Thunder played without Westbrook and Durant.
2. Randolph has posted 11 straight double-doubles (19.2 points, 13.4 rebounds) after returning from a nine-game absence with a knee injury and has reached double figures in rebounds in a career-best 17 consecutive games.
3. Memphis Gs Beno Udrih and Nick Calathes combined for 22 points and eight assists against Denver splitting time at the point in place of Conley. PREDICTION:
Grizzlies 94, Thunder 87
Stats and Records