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updated: 5/11/2011 11:48 PM

Durant, Thunder ease past Grizzlies 99-72

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  • Kevin Durant, right, reacts to a dunk by teammate James Harden, left, in the second quarter of Game 5.

      Kevin Durant, right, reacts to a dunk by teammate James Harden, left, in the second quarter of Game 5.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Kevin Durant scored 19 points, reserve Daequan Cook added 18 and the Oklahoma City Thunder followed their triple-overtime triumph with a 99-72 blowout of the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night to take their first series lead in the Western Conference semifinals.

The Thunder lead 3-2 heading into Game 6 on Friday night in Memphis. They got there with ease considering what happened two nights earlier.

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Marc Gasol had 16 points to lead Memphis, which matched its lowest point total from the regular season and played like it was still drained from an emotional loss in their own building that knocked them out of control in the series.

The Grizzlies shot a season-worst 36 percent and were far enough behind that Durant and fellow All-Star Russell Westbrook didn't even have to play in the fourth quarter.

By the end, Durant was wearing one of the same white Thunder T-shirts as the sellout crowd and was standing on the sidelines directing the lineup of reserves that got to play in garbage time.

"We played great defense. Everyone was in tune, locked in," Durant said. "It was a group effort."

After a classic Game 4, when the Thunder had chances to win at the end of regulation and each of the first two overtimes, coach Scott Brooks said it was like "three wins in one."

It may have won them at least two.

The Grizzlies were a ragged bunch throughout the game after losing the triple-overtime thriller 133-123 on their home court and can only hope to get re-energized by returning to the FedEx Forum with their season on the line Friday night.

Zach Randolph, who played 56 minutes in the marathon Game 4, never was effective. He finished with just nine points and seven rebounds, and even missed four of his first five free throws. He had been averaging 26 points and 14 rebounds in the series.

Gasol, his partner in the potent frontcourt that powered Memphis to a win in Oklahoma City in Game 1, did most of his damage during a 6-minute stretch in the third quarter.

Then the Grizzlies fell hopelessly behind.

Oklahoma City's Nick Collison turned a rebound into a three-point play. When he converted the free throw, it completed a string of seven straight points by the Thunder to bump the lead to 65-46 late in the third quarter.

Memphis didn't stand a chance of a comeback. Too many missed layups. Too many short shots that clanked off the front rim. Too little energy left.

Mike Conley made just 4 of 16 shots, Tony Allen was 4 for 13 and O.J. Mayo 2 for 8 on a dreadful night when nothing was going in.

"It wasn't a factor at all. We wouldn't let that beat us," Durant said when asked if fatigue was ever a factor. "We came out ready."

Memphis didn't reach 50 points until there was 2:04 left in the third quarter, and the Thunder quickly squelched any hopes of yet another wild comeback after the Grizzlies had overcome double-digit deficits to force overtimes in each of the last two games.

Collison had a two-handed dunk, Cook hit a 3-pointer and Nazr Mohammed made a layup during a string of seven straight Oklahoma City points early in the fourth quarter and the lead grew to 27 before both coaches emptied their benches for the final 4 minutes.

"We're going to need them and they know that," Durant said of the reserves, who got more than the usual minutes.

Westbrook had 11 points in 25 minutes -- half of what he played in Game 4. Mohammed added 10 points and Collison had nine points and 10 rebounds, helping the Thunder to a 50-33 edge on the boards.

Oklahoma City came up empty on its first seven possessions and didn't score until nearly 4 minutes into a ragged first quarter, perhaps also showing some aftereffects showing from the marathon two nights earlier.

The Grizzlies forced nine first-quarter turnovers but couldn't take advantage and never led by more than six.

When the Thunder finally put together 5 straight minutes without a turnover, they stormed ahead with a 15-2 run late in the first half, featuring a 3-pointer by Westbrook and two-handed slams by James Harden and Durant.

Durant thumped his chest after his dunk, with Oklahoma City on its way to a 46-35 halftime lead it would never give up.

NOTES: There have been only six NBA playoff games that went at least three overtimes, and Kendrick Perkins has played in the last two. He was with Boston for a triple-OT game against Chicago in 2009, before Monday night's marathon in Memphis. ... The Thunder came into the game leading all playoff teams in scoring (105.4), free throw percentage (81.0), defensive rebounds (33.8), total rebounds (47.1), blocks (8.2) and personal fouls (26.4). ... After Gasol tipped away a second-quarter jump ball on its way up, referee Monty McCutchen tossed the do-over while Gasol wasn't looking.

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