Postgame Report: Grizzlies fight but fall in regular season finale to Oklahoma City

The Memphis Grizzlies concluded the season with 22 wins and 60 losses, matching their worst record since the 2007-08 season.

In their final game of the 2017-18 season, the Memphis Grizzlies fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder 137-123 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. The Grizzlies finished the season with a 22-60 record.

Oklahoma City led by two (25-23) with 3:41 left in the opening frame before going on a 12-2 run over the next 2:28 to give them a 12-point advantage with 1:13 left in the period. The Thunder stretched its lead to 20 (77-57) by halftime.

In the regular season finale, Dillon Brooks became the sixth rookie in franchise history to play in a full 82-game regular season schedule after Marc Gasol (2008-09), O.J. Mayo (2008-09), Juan Carlos Navarro (2007-08), Pau Gasol (2001-02) and Roy Rogers (1996-97). Brooks' career night led the Grizzlies as he finished with 36 points (14-22 FG, 3-7 3P, 5-5 FT) and seven rebounds. Kobi Simmons added 15 points (4-12 FG, 6-6 FT). Ben McLemore scored 14 points (4-8 FG, 2-5 3P, 4-4 FT). Ivan Rabb led the Grizzlies on the boards, grabbing 13 rebounds to go with his 12 points (5-12 FG) for the third double-double of his rookie season.

The Thunder led by 16 (101-85) with 2:32 in the third quarter before Memphis went on an 11-4 run to cut the deficit to single-digits for the first time since early in the second quarter (43-34). Nine points was the closest the Grizzlies came for the remainder of the contest.

Paul George led all scorers with 40 points (13-20, 8-14 3P, 6-8 FT). Steven Adams added 24 points (9-12 FG, 6-7 FT). Corey Brewer finished with 17 points (7-13 FG, 2-5 3P). Russell Westbrook made history, grabbing a game-high 20 rebounds and 19 assists to lock up a triple-double average in back-to-back seasons, becoming the first player in NBA history to average a triple-double more than once.

Grizzlies fans can tune in to the Chris Vernon Show presented by Direct Auto and Life Insurance Thursday, April 12th to watch and hear from a few of your favorite Grizzlies players as they reflect on this past season and look ahead to the upcoming offseason. Coverage begins live at noon on Grizzlies.com. Fans can also look out for exclusive new Grind City Media coverage including interviews with players and coaches.

Team Quotes

On Russell Westbrook averaging a triple-double for the season…
He's a great player. People use that word lightly, but people have to earn it. You have to give him a ton of credit because it's meaningful. His numbers help them win; they're not meaningless numbers, when you get numbers on a bad team, or a blowout game, whatever it is. He shows the consistency, every single night going out and performing at a high level. There are very few guys, maybe a handful of guys that play with that level of intensity, with a burning fire to be the best player on the floor every single night, and he's one of those guys. You’ve just got to give him a ton of credit. There's a ton of respect there for him. There's got to be an appreciation there for him too.
-- Coach Bickerstaff

On Paul George's performance tonight and all season…
The thing I've been watching with Paul is how efficient in scoring he is becoming. He can do more with less. It fits perfect with what they're trying to do. He doesn't need a ton of iso’s, He's catch-and-shoot or one-bounce attack or whatever it is, he's efficient. If he's shooting it like he shot it tonight then there aren't many matchups for him. It's fun to watch great players get even better, and I think Paul is even better now than he's been in the past.
-- Coach Bickerstaff

On how he can improve next season…
I need to get better in the mid-range game, learn different coverages and get a better understanding of the game. Keep working handles and dribbling with my left. I need to have a lot more confidence in taking hard shots and come out there and be a consistent, knock-down three-point shooter and keep that confidence going into next season.
-- Dillon Brooks

On his thoughts on the upcoming draft…
I feel like we have a good chance to get a top-five pick. If you look down the line, we could take anybody: we could take (DeAndre) Ayton, we could take (Marvin) Bagley, we could take [Luka Doncic]. We could take anybody and make them good. I’ve played with some of those guys before, and they are high talents and they’ve proven themselves. Whoever the front office chooses, we are going to roll with it.
-- Dillon Brooks

On takeaways from tonight’s game…
We played hard, we fought back, we cut it down to nine. We just have to find a way to keep on pushing through. Our defense was good at times, but we have to have a full 48 against a playoff team. We got more opportunities for young guys to play and showcase what they can do, and then take this momentum into the offseason, and learn what you need to improve on and bring it to next season, so you can make the team better. That’s my mentality going into next year. We’re getting Mike Conley back, Marc (Gasol) and Chandler (Parsons) will be healthier. We’re going to get a great draft pick and pickups. We have to be ready to be competitive next season and get better every day of the summer.
-- Dillon Brooks

Player Notes

  • Dillon Brooks career night led the Grizzlies as he finished with 36 points (14-22 FG, 3-7 3P, 5-5 FT) and seven rebounds.
  • Ben McLemore had 18 points on 8-of-15 shooting, marking his 19th double-digit scoring effort of the season. He also grabbed seven rebounds, matching his season high (two other times, MR: Mar. 7 at Chicago).
  • Kobi Simmons added 15 points (4-12 FG, 6-6 FT)
  • Ivan Rabb led the Grizzlies on the boards, grabbing 13 rebounds to go with his 12 points (5-12 FG) for the third double-double of his rookie season.