(Sports Network) - The Oklahoma City Thunder will try and get back on track,
but the task won't be easy when they visit the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday
The Thunder fell victim to the Denver Nuggets, at home, on Tuesday, 114-104.
The Nuggets collected their 13th consecutive win and OKC had a three-game
winning streak ended.
"They deserve the credit tonight," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "There are
a number of things that we can get better from and learn from and we will. Our
guys have always done that and there's no reason for me to believe that's not
going to continue to happen."
It will have to happen quickly. The Thunder visit Memphis, which is tied for
third place in the Western Conference with the Los Angeles Clippers. OKC has
already locked up a place in the playoffs, but this game could do a lot
The Grizzlies trail the Thunder by four games and are just a half-game ahead
of the surging Nuggets. OKC still has designs on that No. 1 seed in the West.
The Thunder are just 1 1/2 games behind the San Antonio Spurs.
Against the Nuggets, the Thunder shot 16 percent from long range, going 4-
for-25. Kevin Durant (34 points) and Russell Westbrook (25) were their usual
dynamic selves, but they didn't get much help. Kevin Martin had 14 points, but
no other OKC player scored in double figures.
The Grizzlies broke a two-game losing streak on Monday with a 92-77 drubbing
of the Minnesota Timberwolves at home. Memphis had a six-game winning streak
halted by a Friday night loss in Denver, then the Grizz fell in Utah on
Back at home, where the Grizzlies are 26-8, Memphis got back to defense. The
Grizzlies held the Timberwolves to 39 first-half points and won the third
quarter by 15 to put the game almost out of reach.
The Grizzlies are in a battle for homecourt in the first round of the playoffs
with both the Clippers and Nuggets. They made the huge Rudy Gay/Tayshaun
Prince swap during the season, but the goal remained the same.
"We're trying to build something special. I don't know if we can do it or not,
but we've got to work toward it," said Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins. "And
that's to contend for a championship. Play all the good teams and beat them
wherever you can play them. It's important to build on that every day. Every
day you come to the gym, you've got to work hard. You've got to do what you do
Something will have to give in this battle. The Thunder are the NBA's top
scoring team at 106.7 ppg, while the Grizzlies are the best in the league in
opponents' scoring at 89.2 ppg.
The two teams split this season's matchups, both of which were in Oklahoma
City. The Thunder have taken two in a row in Memphis and are 20-13 on the road
The Sports Network