The Grizzlies had basically one thing going for them tonight: Mario Chalmers, who scored 29 the last time these two teams met and led Memphis this time with 19. Other than that, it was an all-Thunder display: up three after the first quarter, up 12 at the half, up 35 after three, and by then empty seats were appearing at the FedEx. Lest he be accused of running up the score, Billy Donovan then put Kyle Singler in. (Okay, I stole that from Clark Matthews.) That putative lapse aside, the Thunder could do no wrong: third-string point guard Cameron Payne, a Memphis hometown hero, came on halfway through the fourth quarter and promptly sank a trey. At the last timeout, inside the two-minute mark, it was still a 35-point lead, and the final was a sort of embarrassing 125-88.
Once again, OKC played mostly small ball: Steven Adams and Enes Kanter got fewer than 30 minutes between them. Batman and Robin retired gracefully after the third quarter, with Kevin Durant producing 32 points and 10 rebounds, and Russell Westbrook serving up 16 assists to go with 13 points. (Payne claimed a new career high, with, um, five, and Singler knocked down a bucket somewhere.) The Griz had a rough time of it generally, with Mike Conley scoreless and Marc Gasol appearing to mess up his left leg at least twice. Dave Joerger, understandably — this was the first half of a back-to-back for Memphis — put most of the burden on the reserves, and they collected 52 points for him.
For the Thunder, the schedule gets even weirder for a moment: home for a rematch with the Hawks on Thursday, off to Utah to play the Jazz on Friday, and then back home on Sunday against those same Jazz. (“That” same Jazz? Whatever.) Next week: the Trail Blazers, the Cavaliers (in Cleveland), and the Lakers.