Thunder Achieve 118-112 Victory Over Grizzlies in Bane’s Return

Desmond Bane, Memphis Grizzlies, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA News
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder, led by Chet Holmgren and Jalen Williams, secured a critical 118-112 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies during Saturday’s NBA action, climbing to the Western Conference standings alongside the Denver Nuggets. Holmgren’s double-double and Williams’ 23-point contribution highlighted a team effort that extended Oklahoma City’s winning streak.

“It didn’t go our way the whole game or even down the stretch,” Holmgren said. “But we put together enough plays.”

The game marked Desmond Bane‘s return to the Grizzlies after a lengthy absence due to injury. Bane contributed 22 points and seven assists. Despite Bane’s efforts and solid performances from Jaren Jackson Jr. and GG Jackson, Memphis struggled to maintain momentum, suffering its second consecutive loss.

“I felt okay,” Bane said of his return to action. “Got my first wind. Then kind of caught my legs. I’ll be better for sure.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chet Holmgren, Oklahoma City Thunder, Memphis Grizzlies Updates

The Thunder pulled away in the third quarter, leveraging a 19-5 run to establish a lead that proved too challenging for the Grizzlies to overcome. Oklahoma City’s resilience was on display as they fended off a Memphis surge in the fourth quarter, ensuring their position at the conference’s summit.

“We showed great intensity and played up to the level the game required if we wanted to win it. That was an impressive show of resiliency, I thought,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said.

Adding Bane and Jackson to the Grizzlies’ lineup injected much-needed energy, with Jackson Jr. acknowledging the positive impact of Bane’s presence on the court.

‘It was a breath of fresh air,” Jaren Jackson Jr. said of Bane’s return. “Des did exactly what I know Des to do and all the attention he attracts. Him being out there makes it easier for all of us.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chet Holmgren, Oklahoma City Thunder, Memphis Grizzlies Updates

Despite previous lopsided victories for the Thunder in their season series, this matchup remained competitive, partly thanks to Bane’s sharpshooting. However, Oklahoma City’s late-game execution solidified their win and their claim to a share of the Western Conference lead.

“It’s extremely important this late in the season,” Holmgren said of sharing first place, emphasizing the team’s forward momentum towards a favorable playoff seeding. “It’s also good to see all the work we’re putting in is putting us in a good position. But we have a long ways to go.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chet Holmgren, Oklahoma City Thunder, Memphis Grizzlies Updates

Looking ahead, the Thunder are set to host the Utah Jazz, while the Grizzlies will visit the Sacramento Kings. Both teams aim to bolster their standings as the postseason approaches.

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