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The Memphis Grizzlies are currently the fifth seed in the Western Conference (12-10), but against the Oklahoma City Thunder, they looked like the ’95 Bulls against the ’86 Lakers. The Grizz devastated OKC on Thursday, 152-79, setting a new record for largest point margin in an NBA contest — 73.
Even then, there was salt to be poured on the wound. Memphis stole their Thunder despite the fact that their leading scorer Ja Morant was out for the night due to a knee injury. It was like watching the Buccaneers put up 60+ points with Blaine Gabbert steering the ship.
As for OKC, they’re surprisingly not the worst team in the Association, but a 13th seed (6-16) in the West is not a spot for them to get haughty.
Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green joked that the loss warranted a fine for the Thunder organization. Many others on Twitter also reacted to the rout.
To be fair to the Thunder, point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander did miss the game due to concussion protocol. SGA has averaged 20.1 points per game this season, which could have certainly benefitted a group led by Lu Dort’s team-high 15 points.
Nine different Grizzlies scored in double digits, spearheaded by Jaren Jackson’s 27 points. But the effort was wholly efficient, with six Memphis players going over 30 in the plus/minus column. Spanish forward Santi Aldama had the only double-double from the Grizzlies (18 points, 10 rebounds) to complement an impressive plus-52 rating on the evening.
Ultimately one team’s record-setting night is another’s pain. The loss extended the Thunder’s losing streak to eight games — though a matchup against the 4-18 Pistons on Monday may cap that.
As for the Memphis locker room, they were elated to make history after scoring the most points in a Grizzlies game ever.
“It feels great to be in the history books, especially in front of our home crowd,” commented Memphis guard De’Anthony Melton in the postgame interview. “We did it one through 15. Everybody contributed, everybody played hard and we all got to get in the game. So, it’s always a blessing.”
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela