OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A year ago, Memphis blew past Oklahoma City in the Western Conference semifinals.
Back then, Oklahoma City was without dynamic point guard Russell Westbrook because of a season-ending right knee injury from the previous series, and the Thunder were eliminated by the Grizzlies in five games. Westbrook is healthy now, and Oklahoma City is confident the results will be different when the teams meet again this year in the first round of the playoffs, starting Saturday night.
Westbrook's rare athletic ability is especially difficult to handle because scoring champion Kevin Durant draws so much attention that it limits the options for dealing with the team's No. 2 scorer and three-time All-Star.