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 have definitely demonstrated this from a competitive point of view. It does not indicate who our team is. “
Memphis used 12 players and nine of them hit double the scores, with Jaren Jackson Jr.’s 27 points leading. Memphis were deprived of their best player, injured goalkeeper Ja Morant.
It was 72-36 at halftime, and the Grizzlies kept increasing the lead, eventually taking the lead to 78 – the biggest lead of all games since at least 1996 – 97.
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 in the game. So that’s always a blessing.
“We knew with [Morant] get off what we had to do. We had to step up. “
No Memphis starter has played more than 21 minutes. The Grizzlies bench contributed 93 points, overtaking the entire Oklahoma City team by 14 points.
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, but also heartache, frustration and anger. And when you get in 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 a punch and taste your own blood, you don’t feel right. “
Information from the Associated Press was used in this story.