May 11, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies small forward Quincy Pondexter (20) drives to the basket against Oklahoma City Thunder shooting guard Kevin Martin (23) in game three of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at FedEx Forum. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Memphis Grizzlies kept the home-court advantage on Saturday that it stole from Oklahoma City, but it wasn't easy.
Memphis had to close the game with six consecutive points, all on free throws, to take an 87-81 victory in Game 3 at FedExForum to open a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series.
Game 4 is Tuesday night.
Marc Gasol scored 16 of his team-high 20 points in the second half to lead the Grizzlies. Tony Allen and Mike Conley had 14 each and Jerryd Bayless added 11.
The Thunder's Kevin Durant, who has scored 35 or more points in five of his last six playoff games, was held to 25 points on 9-of-19 shooting from the field. Reggie Jackson added 16 and Serge Ibaka and Kevin Martin had 13 each.
A Derek Fisher 3-pointer pulled the Thunder into an 81-81 tie before two Gasol free throws gave the Grizzlies an 83-81 edge with 1:03 left.
After an Oklahoma City timeout, Allen forced Durant to miss a 7-footer and Conley hit two free throws with 50.5 seconds left for an 85-81 lead.
Durant, a 90 percent free-throw shooter, amazingly missed two from the line with 39 seconds left. After a Grizzlies turnover and a missed Fisher 3-point shot, Conley hit two free throws.
The Grizzlies rebounded after getting off to somewhat of a slow start.
Memphis closed the first quarter on a 6-2 run after playing a bit too quick in the first seven minutes. Memphis had five turnovers leading to almost half of Oklahoma City's points.
With some patience late in the quarter, the Grizzlies finished the first 12 minutes shooting 56.3 percent from the field (9 of 16) and holding Oklahoma City to 31.8 percent (7 of 22).
Too many missed outside shots by the Grizzlies in the second quarter allowed the Thunder to get into transition and open a 45-44 lead at halftme.
The Grizzlies' offense got completely out of rhythm, and with Gasol on the bench with two fouls, ball movement seemed to stop far too often.
The Thunder owned the defensive boards in the first half, outrebounding Memphis 25-20 and limiting the Grizzlies to two second-chance points. Oklahoma City had a 9-2 advantage on the offensive boards.
Gasol scored 12 of the Grizzlies' 24 third-quarter points as Memphis carried a 66-60 lead into the fourth quarter. Despite Gasol picking up a fourth foul, he was able to get most of the Thunder front line in foul trouble.
Notes: The Grizzlies know they've got to keep Oklahoma City off the free-throw line. The Thunder's regular-season percentage of 82.8 percent not only led the NBA but was the third-best season shooting performance in league history. Despite losing Russell Westbrook early in the playoffs with a torn ACL, the Thunder are still killing it from the foul line, shooting shooting 85.7 percent after eight playoff games and 88.5 against the Grizzlies. Entering Saturday's game, Kevin Durant had hit 75 of 85 (88.2) in the playoffs, including 20 of 22 (90.9) against Memphis. ... Like two years ago in the West semis against Oklahoma City, the Grizzlies gained a series-opening split on the road by winning Game 2 on Tuesday. Entering these playoffs, teams that lead a best-of-seven series 2-1 have gone on to win that series 82.1 percent of the time (275-60). Memphis won Game 3 against Oklahoma City to take a 2-1 lead in the 2011 playoff series, but the Thunder rebounded to win the series 4-3. ... Conley is posting playoff career highs in scoring (17.9 points, 19th in the NBA), rebounding (4.5), assists (7.8, fourth) and steals (1.25) while recording a postseason career-low 1.8 turnovers. ... The Grizzlies are the only team in the NBA with three players ranked in the top 20 in scoring during the playoffs (Zach Randolph, Gasol and Conley). ... Entering Saturday, Durant was averaging 33.3 points, 9.1 rebounds and 6.4 assists in the playoffs. In the first two games of this series, Gasol and Randolph were outscoring and outrebounding Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins by averages of 38.5 to 11 ppg and 16.5 to 11.5 rpg.