History was made at FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee on Thursday night, as the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder by 73 points, a new NBA record, with a […]
The game was already completely out of hand at halftime, with Memphis doubling up Oklahoma City 72-36.
But the Grizzlies, playing without young star guard Ja Morant, didn’t stop there. Memphis actually scored more points in the second half, pouring on another 80 points to bring their total to a franchise record 152 points.
The Grizzlies led by as many as 78 points during the second half, on a night where they also set a franchise record for field goal percentage (62.5%.)
Accomplishing this feat without Morant on the court is crazy enough, but the Grizzlies also reached their preposterous point total without a single player going over 30 points. Jaren Jackson Jr. had 27 points on 9-of-11 shooting including 6-of-7 three-point shooting, with a cool +42 court rating in just 20 minutes on the court. Memphis played all 12 players on their active roster, with nine of them reaching double digit scoring. Power forward Santi Aldama had the best court rating of the game with a sky-high +52.
The Thunder were shorthanded as well, with leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander missing the matchup in concussion protocol and point guard Josh Giddey missing the game with a non-COVID-19 illness. Still, the remaining Oklahoma City squad was downright awful on both offense and defense. The Thunder shot just 32.9% from the field, making 25-of-76 shots. For comparison, Memphis connected on 60-of-96 attempts from the field.
The disparity in shot attempts comes from the Grizzlies grabbing more than twice as many rebounds as the Thunder (53 to 26) and Oklahoma City committing 20 turnovers to Memphis’s 10.
Lu Dort led the Thunder in scoring with 15 points on 3-of-8 shooting in 25 minutes. The Thunder did have six players in double digits, as well as five (including two starters) with four points or less.
This historic game is full of more anomalies and fun statistics. The Grizzlies still would’ve beaten the Thunder in each of the following scenarios:
- If only their bench points (93) were counted
- If only their points in the paint (82) were counted
- If their 19 three-pointers were taken away
- If they didn’t score again after the 9:39 mark in the third quarter
Oklahoma City isn’t a great team, ranking pretty low in my December Power Rankings, but this historic loss should be a new embarrassing low for the franchise. For the Grizzlies, it’s an exciting and energizing win that allowed the whole team to get involved. Memphis is now 12-10, and while one big win over a hapless opponent doesn’t mean much, the Grizzlies are certainly trending in the right direction.
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