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A group of around 13,000 fans made the trip to the Memphis Grizzlies' FedExForum to see a basketball game on Thursday. What they got instead was bizarre history.
Despite missing star guard Ja Morant, the Grizzlies defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder by a score of 152-79. The 73-point margin was the largest in the history of the NBA, breaking the 68-point record set by the Cleveland Cavaliers in a 148-80 win over the Miami Heat in 1991.
Thanks to a 57-point home loss to the Indiana Pacers last season, the Thunder now own the NBA record for largest home and road losses.
Here's how the team took it on Twitter:
regroup and back at it Monday pic.twitter.com/xNhPToSr83
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) December 3, 2021
The Thunder never led in the game. Instead, they were down 15 points by the end of the first quarter, 36 points at halftime and trailed by as many as 78 points midway through the fourth quarter. The Grizzlies, who set a franchise record for points scored, could have missed every shot they attempted in the final 21 minutes of the game and still won.
It's worth mentioning the Thunder don't exactly seem in the business of winning as many games as they can these days, but even the tankiest of tanky teams don't typically lose like this. So how did it happen?
Thunder-Grizzlies box score is a horror story
Well, the team entered the game without star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, veteran big man Derrick Favors and sixth overall pick Josh Giddey. Already shorthanded, the Thunder collectively shot 32.9% from the field while committing 19 turnovers.
Tre Mann, elevated to the starting lineup with Gilgeous-Alexander and Giddey out, shot 5-of-11 from the field. That represented the best shooting line of the night among Thunder starters, all the way down center Jeremiah Robinson-Earl's 0-for-7 night. In the 24 minutes Robinson-Earl was on the floor, the Thunder were outscored by 56 points, the second-worst individual mark since 1997.
Keep in mind, this team has beaten the Los Angeles Lakers this season. Twice.
Meanwhile, Memphis shot a franchise-record 62.5% from the field and had nine players score in double figures. Again, if every player on the Grizzlies stopped scoring after reaching 10 points, they still would have won. If their starters went scoreless, they still would have won thanks to 93 bench points. If they went scoreless on every shot outside the paint, they still would have won thanks to 82 points in the paint.
With Morant out, Jaren Jackson Jr. led all scorers with 27 points. Rookie big man Santi Aldama, who entered the game averaging 8.4 minutes and 3.0 points, finished as a +52 after posting 18 points and 10 rebounds.
As you can imagine, the internet found all of this very entertaining.
Angola lost to The Dream Team by 5 less points than OKC did to Memphis tonight.
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) December 3, 2021
Update: OKC was outscored worse in the second half. https://t.co/JZ2iRSoSGI
— John Hollinger (@johnhollinger) December 3, 2021
i can literally feel their pain as they hit “tweet” 😭 https://t.co/n8WPD8rJhG
— julie 🐈 (@juliephayer) December 3, 2021
Here's an incredible thing: After winning a game by 73 points to move to two games over .500, the Grizzlies are still -19 for the season
— Dan Devine (@YourManDevine) December 3, 2021