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11/15/2012 12:10 AM EST
Grizzlies slug out 107-97 win over Thunder
MEMPHIS 107, OKLAHOMA CITY 97

By JEFF LATZKE
AP Sports Writer

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Rudy Gay scored a season-high 28 points,
Zach Randolph added 20 points and 11 rebounds before getting
ejected along with Oklahoma City's Kendrick Perkins during a
late-game altercation and the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Thunder
107-97 on Wednesday night.



Marc Gasol chipped in 14 points as the Grizzlies continued the
best start in franchise history by winning their sixth straight
game. They took control by outscoring Oklahoma City by 21 in the
second quarter, and never gave it up.



Kevin Durant scored a season-high 34 points and Russell
Westbrook had 17 points and 13 assists as both Oklahoma City
All-Stars logged more than 42 minutes for the second straight
game while trying to lead a fourth-quarter comeback.



This time it fell short as the Thunder had their five-game
winning streak snapped.



The Grizzlies went to their twin towers inside with Oklahoma
City threatening to come back from a double-digit deficit in the
fourth quarter for the second straight game. Coach Lionel
Hollins called for a timeout after Perkins' two-handed slam got
the Thunder within 97-89 with 4:18 to play.



He sent his team back out with Gasol isolated against Perkins,
and Gasol twisted his way in for a layup. After a missed jumper
by Serge Ibaka at the other end, Gasol set up Randolph for a
layup off a designed play.



After a pair of empty trips by both teams, referee Ken Mauer
tossed both Perkins and Randolph after the two confronted each
other between a pair of free throws by Westbrook. After the
ejections, Randolph and Perkins tried to approach each other
while being restrained by teammates before finally heading out
tunnels at opposite ends of Chesapeake Energy Arena.



By then, Memphis had all but locked up the latest in a series of
testy games between the two young Western Conference playoff
contenders who got to know each other all too well during a
seven-game series in the playoffs two seasons ago.



Ibaka finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and four blocks
for the Thunder.



Quincy Pondexter contributed 13 points and Jerryd Bayless scored
12 as Memphis' bench outperformed the Thunder reserves. Both
teams retooled their reserves during the offseason, with the
Grizzlies letting O.J. Mayo leave in free agency and the Thunder
trading Sixth Man of the Year James Harden to Houston.



Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks tightened his rotation in the
second half, giving Durant and Westbrook no time off even after
both had played 44 minutes in a come-from-behind win at Detroit
on Monday night. In that game, the Thunder scored the first 13
points of the fourth quarter to immediately erase an 11-point
deficit.



Not this time.



Pondexter and the second unit brought the Grizzlies back after
they'd fallen behind 30-20 after the first quarter, getting held
to just 32 percent from the field. Pondexter hit a pair of
3-poitners and a couple free throws during a 16-6 burst to start
the second quarter, and Memphis kept rolling as the starters
rotated back in.



Another Pondexter 3 put Memphis ahead 44-41 and the Grizzlies
scored the final 10 points of the half, including a two-handed
dunk by Gay off of Pondexter's alley-oop, to go up 56-45.



In all, the Thunder were outscored 36-15 in the second quarter
while taking their turn making just 32 percent of their shots.



The deficit ballooned to 65-49 in the first 3 minutes of the
second half, with Randolph converting putbacks on back-to-back
possessions and Mike Conley following Gay's 3-pointer with a
runner in the lane.



NOTES: Gasol also got a technical in the third quarter for
taking the ball out of the net and raking it across Westbrook's
face after a basket by Westbrook. ... The Grizzlies had just one
turnover in the first half - when Bayless failed to connect with
Gasol on a pass into the lane and Ibaka came away with it. ...
Oklahoma City reserve Hasheem Thabeet spent a few moments at
halftime chatting with ex-teammates and staff on the Memphis
sideline. "I'm happy that he's still in the league and happy
that he's doing well," Hollins said.

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