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Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Memphis Grizzlies - 4/19/14

Memphis Grizzlies (50-32) at Oklahoma City Thunder (59-23)

NBA Basketball: Sunday, April 19, 2014 at 9:30 pm (Chesapeake Arena)

The Line: Oklahoma City Thunder -7 -- Over/Under: 192.5 See the Latest Odds


Kevin Durant and the Oklahhoma City Thunder host the Memphis Grizzlies on opening night of the NBA playoffs.

This is the reward the Oklahoma City Thunder gets for finishing with the second best overall record in the NBA this season? Having to come up against a veteran Memphis Grizzlies outfit that could absolutely steal this series, although it's unlikely to happen for one reason, and this name is Kevin Durant. The league's-leading scorer for the fourth time in the last five years is likely to be named the league's MVP after setting the league a lite this season. KD finished the regular season with averages of 32 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game, while falling just shy of the harrowed 50-40-90 shooting mark.

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Memphis Grizzlies - 4/19/14

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Behind Durants monster season, the Thunder managed to win 59 games, which is only second behind the San Antonio Spurs, who won a league-high 62. While post season action was always in play for OKC, the same can't be said about their opponent in Memphis, who needed a second half surge to secure one of the last two playoff berths, narrowly holding off a surprising Phoenix Suns squad. The Grizzlies did get off a slow start, but they are one of the in-form teams coming into the playoffs and they are 40-19 with Marc Gasol in the lineup this season.

It's always hard going against Kevin Durant in the playoffs, but I feel pretty good about Memphis. The Grizzlies are a veteran team has been there before and remember they did take down the Thunder in last season conference semifinals 4-1, granted Russell Westbrook wasn't playing in that series. Still, Memphis nearly swept the Thunder, hadn't it been for that 93-91 loss in Game 1. OKC did take three of four against the Grizz this season, but I'm not too concerned about that. The Thunder probably wins, but I think it will be close...

Dan’s Pick: Memphis +7

Follow me on Twitter @Dan_SCP


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