Under the best of circumstances, it’s difficult to beat the Grizzlies in Memphis, and tonight’s circumstances were hardly the best: Oklahoma City managed a one-point lead briefly in the first quarter, but the Griz dominated to an extent you seldom see in this day and age, as though the Thunder had been replaced for 48 minutes — okay, 47 minutes — by the Washington Generals. OKC managed to keep it fairly close until late in the second quarter, when the Griz went on a 15-2 tear, and thereafter Memphis didn’t even bother to look back. It didn’t help that Russell Westbrook managed to get himself thumbed halfway through the third quarter. But maybe it didn’t matter so much, since Westbrook wasn’t moving the ball at all: he finished the night with zero assists, and the rest of the team in aggregate managed only eight. Meanwhile, the Memphis reserves made a laugher of it, the punchline being 114-80; the Thunder shot just under 33 percent, the Griz nearly 53 percent, and when’s the last time you heard that story? Troy Daniels, often glued to the bench, let his soul arise and his three-ball fall, hitting six of eight for 22 points — one more than Westbrook, five minutes faster. OKC managed to tie the Griz in rebounds, with 39 each, but otherwise, it was the sort of whipping one gives to a disobedient puppy, assuming one’s still living in the 19th century.
There’s really not a lot to say here. Chandler Parsons, often injured, played sparingly, but he didn’t have to bring a whole lot tonight. Mike Conley was out already. And had Alex Abrines not made that 24-footer from the corner with half a minute left, things would have looked even worse. (Double A scored 10 points in all, one of exactly three Thundermen in double figures.) Perhaps it’s better just to let this one fade into distant memory. Besides, when the Thunder get back home, they have to play the Clippers, who previously administered the second-worst thrashing OKC has received this season.