Memphis had its best offensive game in franchise history despite the absence of Ja Morant
When the official injury report was released prior to Thursday night’s matchup between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies, we knew a blowout was likely in store. We didn’t know that it was going to escalate to historic levels.
The Grizzlies came away with a 152-79 victory over the Thunder, establishing a new NBA record for the largest margin of victory at 73 points. The previous mark was 68 points, reached in a 148-80 Cleveland Cavaliers win over the Miami Heat during the 1991-92 season. The 152 points also set a Grizzlies franchise record for a single game.
“It feels great to be in the history books, especially in front of our home crowd,” Grizzlies guard De’Anthony Melton said after the game. “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.”
The rout was on early, as Memphis led by 15 points after the first quarter, 36 after the second and 51 after the third. Jaren Jackson Jr. scored a game-high 27 points, and he was one of nine Grizzlies to finish in double-figures. Memphis shot 62.5 percent from the field and went 19-for-36 (52.8 percent) from 3-point range, while dishing out 41 assists compared to just 10 turnovers. The Grizzlies’ historic offensive effort is even more impressive considering they were without leading scorer and likely All-Star Ja Morant, who is nursing a knee injury.
By contrast, OKC shot 32.9 percent from the field, 28.9 percent from beyond the arc and had more turnovers (19) than assists (14). The Thunder were without seven players, including leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and productive rookie Josh Giddey. Luguentz Dort led OKC with 15 points, while Ty Jerome added 12 points and four assists.
Here is a look at the nine most ridiculous things from the biggest blowout in NBA history, in no particular order:
- The Grizzlies set franchise records for points (152), bench points (93), field goals made (60), assists (41), field goal percentage (62.5) and effective field goal percentage (72.4).
- Memphis’ biggest lead was 78 points, while OKC never led in the game.
- The Grizzlies bench outscored the entire Thunder team, 93-79.
- Memphis put up 152 points and only one player (Jackson) scored more than 19 points.
- The Grizzlies scored more points in the second half (80), than Oklahoma City scored all game (79).
- Grizzlies rookie Santi Aldama, who scored a career-high 18 points, set a single-game franchise record with a plus-52 rating in 28 minutes. Meanwhile, Thunder rookie Jeremiah Robinson-Earl was minus-56 in 23 minutes.
- The Thunder, who lost by 57 points at home last season, now hold the NBA record for the largest home loss and largest road loss in NBA history.
- The Grizzlies scored more points in the paint (82) than the Thunder did in the entire game (79).
- The Memphis win ties the 1940 Chicago Bears’ 73-0 shutout for the largest margin of victory in North American professional sports history, according to Bears writer Larry Mayer.
Whew. What a night.
Memphis has now won three games in a row, and improves to 12-10 on the season. The Thunder’s losing streak now sits at eight games as they fall to 6-16 on the year.
“Franchise records are obviously great. I’m obviously proud of our guys that they don’t think about that. We’re just motivated by what are our standards every single night,” Memphis head coach Taylor Jenkins said after the game. “Obviously tonight it was on pretty full display, both offensively and defensively.”