The Oklahoma City Thunder etched their name into the record books on Thursday night but not in a good way.
Mark Daigneault’s squad was blown out by the Memphis Grizzlies 152-79, losing by a whopping 73 points. It marks the largest margin of victory in NBA history.
It’s also worth noting the Grizzlies’ bench (93 points) scored more than the Thunder as a whole. In addition, they accomplished the feat without star point guard Ja Morant, who is sidelined with a left knee sprain.
Morant acknowledged his team’s well-deserved victory via Twitter, adding that he can’t wait to return to the court.
Oklahoma City’s best player on Thursday night was Lugentz Dort, who finished with a team-high 15 points, along with one rebound and two assists. Tre Mann, Ty Jerome and Mike Muscala also had 12 points each, while Isaiah Roby finished with 11.
It was a particularly rough night for Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, as Justin Kubatko notes:
Jaren Jackson Jr. shined for the Grizzles, finishing with 27 points, three rebounds and one assist. It was his best game of the 2021-22 campaign thus far and his second consecutive game with at least 25 points.
De’Anthony Melton, John Konchar and Santi Aldama were also impressive for Memphis, combining for 54 points, 20 rebounds and 12 assists.
Prior to Thursday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers held the NBA record for the largest margin of victory, having beaten the Miami Heat 148-80 nearly three decades ago.
Several NBA players also weighed in on Oklahoma City’s loss, including Trae Young, Draymond Green and Josh Hart.
Granted, the Thunder were without arguably their best player in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. The 23-year-old guard was placed in concussion protocol, and it’s unclear when he might return.
Gilgeous-Alexander leads the Thunder in scoring, averaging 21.2 points per game this season, in addition to 5.1 rebounds and 4.5 assists.
Oklahoma City is in a major rebuild, and Thursday’s loss dropped the team to 6-16 on the season. With general manager Sam Presti hoarding first-round draft picks, the Thunder could easily turn things around over the next several years.
For now, though, it seems like fans will certainly be in for another disappointing season after a 22-50 finish last year.