Grizzlies set NBA record with 73-point margin of victory to beat OKC
MEMPHIS — The Oklahoma City Thunder were already in trouble when leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander entered concussion protocol just hours before Thursday’s game.
The Memphis Grizzlies didn’t waste time pouncing early and then poured it on like no team in franchise history had done. When John Konchar flew in for a thunderous dunk over Isaiah Roby in the fourth quarter, the Grizzlies surpassed their previous franchise record of 144 points.
As the final buzzer sounded at FedExForum, fans stood and cheered more history as the Grizzlies won by the largest margin in NBA history, 152-79. The 73-point win surpassed a 68-point win by the Cleveland Cavaliers over the Miami Heat on Dec. 17, 1991.
Here’s what we learned from a dominant night at FedExForum:
Scoring records fall
The Grizzlies’ previous record was a 49-point win last season in Houston. A Brandon Clarke 3-pointer in the third quarter gave the Grizzlies a 52-point lead, their first time leading by that much in franchise history.
Coach Taylor Jenkins began emptying his bench midway through the third quarter. Santi Aldama and Jarrett Culver drew MVP chants in the fourth at the foul line. The Grizzlies led by as many as 78 points in the second half.
All of this happened while Ja Morant was injured on the bench, further showing the Grizzlies’ depth.
Jaren Jackson Jr. goes off
Is it a coincidence that Jackson has been at his best during this three-game streak? Probably not. Jackson added another dominant performance with 27 points, two blocks and two steals.
He was 9-of-11 from the field, including 6-of-7 on 3-pointers. It was another strong two-way effort that helped put the game out of reach early.
Santi Aldama joins the fun
Aldama wasn’t exactly “Santi Claus,” but he brought an early gift to Grizzlies fans in his second extended play of the season. The rookie surpassed his career high in shots with seven in the first quarter and had a personal 6-0 scoring run.
Aldama had a fastbreak dunk and a dunk over Paul Watson in the period. He finished the game with a career-high 18 points and 10 rebounds in his first NBA double-double
De’Anthony Melton starts the jam session
De’Antony Melton had 19 points but had the first highlight of the night with a dunk over two Thunder players. The dunk parade didn’t stop there.
Besides Konchar’s fourth-quarter dunk, Culver had a one-handed alley-oop finish in the period. It was highlight central as the Grizzlies outclassed a shorthanded Thunder team playing without its leading scorer in Gilgeous-Alexander.
Follow Evan Barnes on Twitter @evan_b.