The Grizzlies are proving they know how to grab an advantage and hold onto it this postseason.
Tony Allen scored on a driving layup to open overtime and the Grizzlies held off the Oklahoma City Thunder, 103-97, Monday night at Memphis to push the defending Western Conference champions to the edge of elimination.
The Grizzlies shook off a first half in which they couldn’t hit shots and the Thunder seemingly couldn’t miss in building their largest lead in this series at 17 points. But the Grizzlies have yet to lose on their home court this postseason, and they won their third straight and seventh in eight games to grab a 3-1 lead in the series.
Game 5 is Wednesday night in Oklahoma City.
The Grizzlies outscored the Thunder, 9-3, in overtime.
Kevin Durant scored 27 points but missed all five of his shots in the extra period, including a layup in the final seconds. Durant went 2 of 13 in the fourth quarter and overtime and had only 5 points. The All-Star played 48 minutes and was just short on his shots as the game wore on.
Durant got the help from his teammates that he had been needing. Kevin Martin scored 18 points, Serge Ibaka had his best game of the series with 17 points and 14 rebounds, and Reggie Jackson had 15. Nick Collison even added 10.
Mike Conley led Memphis with 24 points and Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph each had double-doubles.
Randolph had 23 and 12, and Gasol had 23 and 11 along with six blocks. Conley had four steals. Allen, who finished with 10 points, had three steals.
In 2011, the Grizzlies were the team that blew the big lead in the first half of Game 4 with the Thunder pulling out the win to even up the series.
They also wasted home-court advantage last year in the playoffs in the opening round against the Clippers.
Heat 88, Bulls 65 — LeBron James scored 27 points and Miami nearly matched a franchise record for fewest points allowed in a playoff game, pounding the listless and shorthanded Bulls at Chicago to take a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The 65 points allowed were only 2 more than the postseason low for a Miami opponent, and it was easily the worst offensive performance by a Chicago team.
Never before had the Bulls scored fewer than 69 in a playoff game nor 10 or fewer in a quarter during the postseason, but both of those marks fell on a night when they were dominated on both ends of the floor.
Miami led by 11 at the half and put this one away in the third quarter, outscoring Chicago, 17-9, in the period.
Now the Heat will try to wrap up the series at home Wednesday night, taking what they hope will be the next step toward a second straight championship.
It’s hard to believe the Bulls won the series opener the way the past three games have gone.
Miami pounded Chicago in Game 2, coming away with its most lopsided playoff victory while handing the Bulls their worst ever postseason loss, and the Heat continued to roll from there.
James had his usual complete game with eight assists and seven rebounds Monday.
Chris Bosh had 14 points after scoring 20 and grabbing 19 rebounds in Game 3.
The Heat won again despite another quiet night from Dwyane Wade, who finished with 6 points.