Oklahoma City Thunder host the Memphis Grizzlies in the second game of the first round of the playoffs. Thunder, after winning the first game convincingly 100-86 on Saturday, is on a high and will look to take a 2-0 lead against their Western Conference rivals.
Grizzlies showed flashes of brilliance in the match, once when they reduced the 22-point deficit to just two points in the fourth quarter. But, they were completely outplayed in the first two quarters by the home team and in the end fell short.
The visitors have a lot of improvements to make in their game, especially in the shooting department, if they are to keep themselves in the running in the postseason contest. In Game 1, the Grizzlies had a forgettable shooting day, and they have these numbers ahead of them to improve on, as they just converted 58.1 percent shots from the free throw line and 36.3 percent from the floor.
On the other hand, Thunder established a point that they are a team to beat in the playoffs. Kevin Durant was the star performer for them with 33 points, while their bench including Caron Butler, Steven Adams and Reggie Jackson also made decent contributions. Grizzlies are a formidable unit, but they need more of an effort from Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, who missed five free throws in the opener.
After nailing the first game comfortably, Thunder are heading into the game as favourites, but if Grizzlies can get a better start and make the first two quarters count, they can keep the contest rolling in this playoff tie.
Grizzlies power forward Randolph is hopeful of slowing down OKC, just like they did in the third and fourth quarters of the first game. He is confident of putting up a strong show in the initial stages of the match to square the series.
"We got stops," Randolph said. "We played our style of basketball. We were getting stops and pushing the ball up and getting back on defense, getting back in transition and slowing down them running off and getting fast breaks."
"It was real important. We see what we can do. We know what we can do and we've got to come like that at the beginning of the game."
Thunder coach Scott Brooks wants his side to continue its good run of form in the second game as well. He said that they need to keep the ball rolling and continue their playing pace.
"I thought we did a good job of just continuing to play at the pace that we want to play," Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said about his team's first-half performance. "To keep pushing the ball, it has to be off of our defensive effort."
Where to Watch Live
The game is scheduled for an 8:00 pm ET (5:30 am IST, 12 am GMT) start with live coverage on TNT in the US and Sony Six in India. The game can be watched via live streaming online in the US HERE or HERE, while UK viewers can live stream the action HERE. The game can be live streamed by international viewers, including India, HERE.