Grizzlies 100 - Thunder 99
The Grizzlies came out in their Baby Blue uniforms that worked so well for them on Game 2. The good luck started well, the Thunder going easy on defending with Zach Randolph getting single coverage and he ran over Kendrick Perkins like Adam Silver over a certain NBA owner.
The Thunder's shooting was still very poor, even with Kevin Durant hitting his first jumper of the night. Russell Westbrook's shooting was especially poor, shots bouncing around the rim 2-3 times but still not falling in. Thunder tried to move inside and increase their inside the paint shooting, but the Grizz were going to make them work for it.
With a mini Thunder run, Tayshaun Prince showed up with a good defensive stop, a steal and even a couple buckets!
With Prince on a run, Coach Dave Joerger put Tony Allen and Prince on the floor at the same time. A dangerous prospect offensively, but a defensive dream team. Allen with an acrobatic steal and for a minute, the Grizz looked like they were flying with puppet strings.
A close ending with an Ibaka three to pull the Grizzlies lead to 5, but still a strong close.
Hero of Game 3, Reggie Jackson started the quarter with a three pointer. Kosta Koufos answered on the other end, keeping Marc Gasol on the bench after a scoreless first quarter. Shots were traded back and forth, but a fast break lead by a Tony Allen steal lead to, finally, a Mike Miller three.
The Thunder's 4/4 on 3pt shooting kept them close, but anything closer to the basket was getting stopped by the staunch Grit n Grind crew.
Mike Miller finally got his shot back after a dreadful first 4 games, but if the Grizzlies were going to trade shots, Miller would have to be a bigger contributor. He was lucky that he was being guarded by a slower Caron Butler. The Grizzlies defense needed some increase on the perimeter defense, because that was the only offense the Thunder could generate.
Gasol made up for his offensive drought by sneaking in an elbow on Ibaka's head without a foul call and then next possession hit a jumper.
Zbo returned with 5:30 left in the quarter while the Grizzlies built up their biggest lead of the game, 12 points. Westbrook also spent a chunk of that time on the bench, but Reggie Jackson, Ibaka and Derek Fisher kept the shooting busy behind the line.
The Grizzlies kept the lead comfortably at 12, even with Jackson hitting a three, the team defense kept the Durant-Westbrook axis buried under the sea.
Miller hit another long three with his heels practically brushing the mid court logo of OKC. Scary moment when Mike Conley went after his own rebound and fell hard to the court, but he seemed okay after brushing himself off.
Memphis ended the half with a twelve point lead.
Grizzlies 100 - Thunder 99