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Preview: Thunder (59-23) at Grizzlies (50-32)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Date: April 26, 2014 9:30 PM EDT
  

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Kevin Durant insists he and Russell Westbrook aren't turning their first-round series into a two-man show, even if the NBA scoring champ says they may be shooting too much.

Durant and his Oklahoma City teammates agree those shots will fall.

Saturday night in Game 4 would be a good time to start, or the Thunder could find themselves on the brink of playoff elimination in the opening round for the first time since 2010.

'I just didn't make shots,' Durant said Friday after practice. 'That's the name of the game. But I liked the way I cut, I liked the way I was aggressive. But I have to do a better job of maybe passing the ball a little bit more and also making shots. I've got to stay confident in myself.'

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Durant and Westbrook each scored 30 points in Thursday night's 98-95 overtime loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, combining to go 19 of 53 or a majority of the 87 shots the Thunder took. Worse, they were a chilling 4 of 21 beyond the arc with Durant missing all eight of his attempts.

Thunder center Kendrick Perkins said that won't happen again.

'KD is obviously the league MVP and we expect him to be the MVP down the stretch,' Perkins said.

Memphis has been making Durant and Westbrook work hard for shots by crowding the paint while holding the Thunder below 40 percent shooting in back-to-back games. Now the Grizzlies have the same 2-1 lead they had a year ago in the semifinals against Oklahoma City after consecutive overtime wins.

Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger said they want to limit the easy shots and hope Durant and Westbrook miss some.

'They're going to get them up,' Joerger said.

Durant and Westbrook weren't alone. Oklahoma City went 5 of 28 for a chilling 17.9 percent. That was just the seventh time in the playoffs the Thunder have shot 20 percent or less from 3 since moving to Oklahoma City, and three came against the Grizzlies.

Thunder coach Scott Brooks said the Grizzlies have been forcing them to take some of the 3s by crowding three and four players around the paint. Oklahoma City can loosen up Memphis by hitting some of those

'The ones we're trying to eliminate and hopefully we do that next game, are the ones that are off the dribble with the no passes. Those are the tough ones. Those are the ones that we don't want. The ones we like, and we're going to have to be able to step up and make, are the ones when they're packing the paint.'

Still, the Thunder, who posted the NBA's second-best record, remain confident.

'It'd be different if we got blown out or we feel like we didn't have a chance to win,' Westbrook said. 'We're in a good place.'

So are the Grizzlies.

They now have won four of the last six playoff games against Oklahoma City, including four straight on their home court. The Thunder's lone win here in the postseason needed three overtimes in Game 4 of their 2011 semifinal.

Not even going to overtime after blowing fourth-quarter leads has bothered Memphis, which has been pushing for the playoffs since January once center Marc Gasol returned from a sprained left knee. The Grizzlies went 10-4 in games decided by three points or less as one of only four teams with double-digit wins in one-possession games.

Conley called Saturday night the next most important game of the season.

'We know they're not going to go away,' Conley said. 'They're going to fight and do whatever they can to win the series.'

---

Follow Teresa M. Walker at www.twitter.com/teresamwalker

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 SERIES AT A GLANCE
GAME 1
Grizzlies at Thunder
Sat, Apr 19 Final 86 to 100
 Recaps
GAME 2
Grizzlies at Thunder
Mon, Apr 21 Final 111 to 105
 Recaps
GAME 3
Thunder at Grizzlies
Thu, Apr 24 Final 95 to 98
 Recaps
GAME 4
Thunder at Grizzlies
Sat, Apr 26 Final 92 to 89
 Recaps
GAME 5
Grizzlies at Thunder
Tue, Apr 29 Final 100 to 99
 Recaps
GAME 6
Thunder at Grizzlies
Thu, May 1 Final 104 to 84
 Recaps
GAME 7
Grizzlies at Thunder
Sat, May 3 Final 109 to 120
 Recaps

 CURRENT LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 OKL  -165   -3.5   188 
 MEM  +145   +3.5   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CURRENT SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 OKL  -170   -3   189 
 MEM  +150   +3   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 OKL  67%   63%   68% 
 MEM  33%   37%   32% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 NBA HEAD TO HEAD
 Apr 24, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 OKL 95 Over: 193 
 MEM 98 Cover: 5.5 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Apr 21, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 MEM 111 Cover: 13 
 OKL 105 Over: 216 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Apr 19, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 MEM 86 Under: 186 
 OKL 100 Cover: 6 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Feb 28, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 MEM 107 Cover: 0.5 
 OKL 113 Over: 220 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Feb 3, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 MEM 77 Under: 163 
 OKL 86 Cover: 1 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Jan 14, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 OKL 87 Under: 177 
 MEM 90 Cover: 3 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Dec 11, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 OKL 116 Cover: 10 
 MEM 100 Over: 216 
 Tools:   Recaps
 May 15, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 MEM 88 Cover: 8.5 
 OKL 84 Under: 172 
 Tools:   Recaps
 May 13, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 OKL 97 Over: 200 
 MEM 103 Cover: 1.5 
 Tools:   Recaps
 May 11, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 OKL 81 Under: 168 
 MEM 87 Cover: 1 
 Tools:   Recaps

 NBA PREVIEWS
 Saturday, Apr 26
 
    Pacers at Hawks
2:00 PM EDT
    Spurs at Mavericks
4:35 PM EDT
    Heat at Bobcats
7:05 PM EDT
    Thunder at Grizzlies
9:40 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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