The 73-point margin easily surpassed the previous mark, which was Cleveland’s 68-point victory over Miami. The Cavaliers dominated the Heat 148-80 on December 17, 1991.
“Tonight isn’t necessarily who we are,” said Thunder coach Mark Daigneault. “I think we’ve definitely shown that from a competitive point of view. It does not indicate who our team is. “
Memphis used 12 players and nine of them hit double-digit scores, with Jaren Jackson Jr.’s 27 points paving the way for the Grizzlies. Memphis were deprived of their best player, injured goalkeeper Ja Morant.
It was 72-36 at halftime and the Grizzlies kept increasing their lead, ultimately gaining up to 78 points.
The Thunder flirted with the wrong end of the record last season, trailing Indiana 67 points on May 1 before rallying – as it did – to lose by just 57 points, 152-95.
It was worse. Historically worse.
The Grizzlies set a franchise record for shooting, making 62.5% of their shots. De’Anthony Melton scored 19 points, Santi Aldama scored 18 and John Konchar scored 17 for the Grizzlies, and none of those three players even started.
“Dude, that feels good. It feels good to be in the history books, especially in front of our local audience, ”said Melton. “And we did it from one to 15. Everyone contributed, everyone played hard and we all got to participate in the game. So that’s always a blessing.
“We knew with (Morant) going down what we had to do,” Melton said. “We had to step up.
No Memphis starter has played more than 21 minutes. Lu Dort led the Thunder with 15 points and Oklahoma City shot just 33 percent.
It was 12-8 after five minutes. From there, there was no stopping Memphis. The Grizzlies outscored the Thunder by 15 points in each of the four quarters.
It was the third straight game the Grizzlies had led from start to finish.
The Thunder lost their eighth game in a row as they continued to play shorthanded with a number of unavailable players, including leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who began concussion protocol earlier Thursday. Gilgeous-Alexander scored 39 points against the Rockets on Wednesday night but suffered a blow to the head late in the game.
Point guard Josh Giddey, who has 10.4 points and 5.5 assists, was absent with an illness unrelated to COVID-19, and the remaining players were unable to fill the void in the offense. Oklahoma City.
The Thunder had been competitive in their seven straight losses before Thursday night. Their biggest margin of defeat was 13 points.
“When you compete, you are exposed to the ups and downs of competition,” said Daigneault. “And with competition comes great joy, and also heartache and frustration and anger. And when you step into that ring, that’s what you expose yourself to, it’s all of those things. That’s why joy is so good, because when you get punched and you taste your own blood, it doesn’t feel right. “
Thunder: Ty Jerome got his first start of the season in place of Gilgeous-Alexander and finished with 12 points. … Darius Bazley is the only Oklahoma City player to start all 22 games. … Oklahoma City’s 36 points in the first half were their lowest this season in half.
Grizzlies: Were unreservedly Kyle Anderson (back pain) and Ziaire Williams (left knee pain). … Memphis is 3-0 since Morant sprained his right knee against Atlanta last Friday. … The Thunder’s 36 points were the lowest of the season by an opponent in one half. … Memphis ‘largest previous margin of victory was 49 points in a 133-84 win over Houston on February 28, 2021. … The 152 points were Memphis’ most important in a game. His previous mark was 144 against Golden State on January 3, 2007.
Thunder: In Detroit on Monday.
Grizzlies: In Dallas on Saturday.