Indeed, it's the first series that has gone the distance in this year's playoffs. Home teams are 21-7 in Game 7s over the past decade. Orlando was the last road team to win, beating Boston in the first round in 2009.
Oklahoma City's franchise hasn't played in a Game 7 since 1997 as the Seattle SuperSonics, losing to Houston in the West semifinals. The Sonics also lost twice and won once in Game 5 of a best-of-five series since then.
The Grizzlies had never played beyond a Game 4 — getting swept in three previous playoff appearances — before this year.
Hollins said experience isn't necessarily a definitive factor, pointing out that the two-time defending champion Lakers had more of it than anyone before getting swept by Dallas last week. The Spurs, beaten by the newcomer Grizzlies in the first round, and Celtics have also been sent home already.
"Even if it was one of those teams, you'd throw it out. When you get to Game 7, the team that plays the best is going to win," Hollins said. "It may not be pretty. It's going to be the team that's aggressive, that does all the things necessary, that makes all the plays."
"There's no tomorrow for the loser," he added.
Or at least not a pleasant one.
"When you win, you want to be seen everywhere. You like that pat on the back, you like that acknowledgment of you being a winner," said Grizzlies guard Tony Allen, who was 4-1 in Game 7s with Boston.
"You lose, you think about what you could've did. That's the pain of regret. But get the win, that's the pain of working hard."
Western Conf. Semifinals
Thunder vs. Grizzlies
Today, 1:30 p.m.
At Oklahoma City Arena
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