There is no mercy rule in the NBA, but if there were, it would have been invoked not long into Thursday night’s Memphis Grizzlies versus Oklahoma City Thunder game.
The Grizzlies were already up 72-36 at halftime. By the time their dominant performance was over, they had prevailed 152-79, a 73-point margin that is the biggest in NBA history — smashing the previous record, 68 points, from 1991. At one juncture, Memphis was up by 78, so hey, nice job by Oklahoma City bringing that margin down.
There were a number of eye-popping factoids contained in the score, including that Memphis scored more points in the paint than Oklahoma City scored total points and, somehow, only one Grizzlies player ended up with more than 19 points on the evening. (This is because Memphis’s bench took a prominent role early in the blowout and ended up outsourcing the entire Thunder team.) The Grizzlies’ dynamic offense (62.5 percent from the field) and Oklahoma City’s utterly anemic defense are on display in highlights from the game.
But perhaps the evening is better summed up in meme form:
After the game, Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said, “Tonight is not necessarily who we are. I think we’ve definitely shown that from a competitive standpoint. This isn’t indicative of who our team is.”
One would hope not.