The Memphis Grizzlies continue their road to recovery after a bad start in the 2015-2016 NBA Season beating the Oklahoma City Thunder, 122-114 Monday night.
Back-up point guard Mario Chalmers, who was playing in just his third game with the Grizzlies after a trade from the Miami Heat last week, dropped 29 points in just 23 minutes off the bench for Memphis, which started the season at 3-6 but is now riding a three-game winning streak.
The Grizzlies, particularly their offensive core, has finally found their shooting touch the past few games. Mike Conley top-scored for his team with 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting, Jeff Green had 20 points and Marc Gasol added 17 points. Both Conley and Green hit crucial three-pointers as the Thunder tried to make a comeback in the end game.
The Thunder, which were playing without superstar Kevin Durant, had to rely on Russell Westbrook for much of the night. The star PG had 40 points on an efficient 13-of-19 shooting and had 14 assists but it wasn’t enough as OKC suffered their fifth loss in the last eight games after starting the season at 3-0.
Durant is still out due to a hamstring injury and is expected to be reevaluated within a week. OKC is just 1-2 in the past three games without Durant.
Four other players finished in double-figure scoring for the Thunder led by Serge Ibaka (18 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocked shots) and Enes Kanter (16 points and 7 rebounds).
However, offense wasn’t the problem for the Thunder as they gave up 43 points to the Grizzlies in the final quarter and allowed Memphis to shoot 12-of-17 three-point field goals (70.6 percent). The Grizzlies also trooped to the line 39 times and made 36 free throw attempts, or 92.3 percent.