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Grizzlies set NBA record with 73-point win over Thunder

On December 17, 1991, the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Miami Heat by 68 points to set a new NBA record for the largest winning streak. This record lasted for almost three decades but only 15 days after 30 years, a new baseline was established. The Memphis Grizzlies overcame the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night, setting a new standard with a 152-79 win for the home team at the FedEx Forum.

As one might imagine, the Grizzlies mostly dominated the proceedings from the outset. Memphis won each round by 15 points or more, holding the Thunder with just 5/23 shots in the opening period to lead 31-16. Profit margins then increased to 41-20 in the second quarter, as the Grizzlies shot 77% and converted 5/6 from outside the three-point arc. At halftime, Memphis was doubling Oklahoma City on the scoreboard 72-36, and the onslaught was not over yet.

The third inning represented Oklahoma City’s best offensive phase of the game, as the Thunder scored 26 points and made three three-pointers. Unfortunately for Oklahoma City, Memphis has also uncomfortably blamed it, with the Grizzlies converting to a seven-three, scoring 61% and scoring 41 points. The Grizzlies then put together what was really their most dominant period of the whole evening, using a 32-5 win early in the fourth round to take a 78-point lead (!) with just three remaining minutes in the game.

When the scores were at 145-67, it looked like the Grizzlies could actually score more than double what the Thunder produced. Oklahoma City scored 12 points in the final 2:52, the team’s best strike of the evening, and the guests avoided that fate, but the final 73-point margin certainly tells the defeat story like like in four quarters.

Statistically speaking, the game is also remarkable in many ways. Nine players scored double for Memphis, led by Jaren Jackson with 27 points, and the Grizzlies did it all without Ja Morant. As a team, the Grizzlies hit 62.5 percent from the floor and 19-36 (52.8 percent) from the three-point range, gaining a whopping 41 assists and also securing 14 offensive rebounds with just 36 missed shots. Oklahoma City, on the other hand, only shot 32.9% from the floor and 28.9% from long range, making 20 returns and generally failing.

For a good measure, there are also individual wild numbers in the +/- column. Thunder guardian Luguentz Dort hit -53 in 25 minutes, and no member of OKC’s roster (without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey on the night) had a better result than -18 in the match. Grizzlies rookie Santi Aldama scored +52 in less than 29 minutes of play, and five players on the Memphis roster scored +39 or higher in the game.

All told, it is difficult to adequately describe the destruction taking place here, and in truth, the 73-point margin could have been worse without OKC’s late push. After the final whistle, the Thunder at least tried to operate as if it were business as usual, releasing a “final score” tweet for the ages.

This record may not last for nearly 30 years like the previous one, but anyone who followed the Grizzlies-Thunder on Thursday was credited with a memorable result for a long time.

https://uproxx.com/dimemag/grizzlies-thunder-nba-record-margin-of-victory-73-points/ Grizzlies set NBA record with 73-point win over Thunder

JOE HERNANDEZ

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