The Big Picture
Shorthanded on the second night of a home-road back-to-back, the Thunder fell to the Grizzlies 152–77 in Memphis. The Grizzlies burst out to an early start didn’t look back as they shot the ball at a 62 percent clip from the field and 53 from deep to carry a lead from start to finish. On the other end, the Thunder’s offense toiled to generate a consistent rhythm to answer Memphis’ runs shooting just 32 percent from the floor.
Moments from the 48
Game Flow It was an early start for Memphis who attacked downhill generating 18 of its 31 first quarter points from the paint. OKC’s offense generated open looks, but its shots fell at just a 21 percent clip from the field. As a result, OKC trailed 31-16 after the first.
For the first few minutes of the second frame, the Thunder looked to respond with its own punch as it answered each Memphis bucket with one of its own. However, the Grizzlies burst out on a 31-9 run to close out the half to build up a substantial lead at halftime and didn’t look back for the rest of the night.
“I thought [Memphis] played with great force and pace. They made some shots. We didn't shoot it well early and just couldn't really get a grip on the game really at any part of the game,” said Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault. “Credit them, they played all the way through for 48 and played really well. We had a hard time turning them off.”
“That's not something we should just forget about, it's something that we should learn from,” said Thunder forward Mike Muscala. “As much as it hurts right now and that it will hurt to watch the film, we need to learn from this.”
Different Lineups The Thunder were without starters Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (concussion protocols) and Josh Giddey (flu) in Memphis. Off the bench, the Thunder were also without big man Derrick Favors (flu) as well as Kenrich Williams (right ankle sprain). Like it always does, the Thunder used the holes in its rotation as an opportunity to take an extended look at lower-minute rotation players in different situations.
As a result, Ty Jerome and Tre Mann filled the vacancies in the starting five and two-way player Paul Watson Jr. was first off the bench for the Thunder. Gabriel Deck also stepped into the rotation for the first time in four games. By the end of the night. All 10 players to step on the floor for OKC scored.
Muscala’s Return to the Rotation After missing the previous two contests, veteran big man Mike Muscala returned to the lineup and added 12 points on an efficient 4-of-8 from the field. The pick-and-pop center also dropped three 3-pointers in the effort which marks his fifth game of the season with three or more 3-pointers off the bench.
The Last Word
Ty Jerome on the mentality after the game… “We approach this loss like any other loss. You go in tomorrow, you take care of your body, you watch film, we practice the next two days after that, and then we go to Detroit and try to get one there.”Coach Daigneault on the 152-77 loss… “This is part of competing. The exposure that you get to competition opens you up to all the experiences of competition good and bad. If you don't want to take the bad then you can't pursue the good and that's the lesson. You got to taste your own blood, sit in it. We certainly own it. We're not making excuses or running from it, but at the same time I think it's important to note that this isn't who we've been all season.”
A three-day break between games awaits the Thunder upon its return to Oklahoma City. When the Thunder returns to action, it will be up north to face the Detroit Pistons on Monday and the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday.