Oklahoma City simply outshot the Grizzlies in the first half, 57.5% to 37.8%, despite Memphis getting four steals and taking 5 more shots. The Thunder's small lineup, with Ibaka at the 5, allowed them to shred Memphis' D with simple pick and rolls using a plethora of wings and the devastating combination of a healthy Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. Mike Conley, by contrast, missed his first seven shots, and the result was a 12-point deficit at halftime.
The Grizzlies have been dismal in third quarters this year, allowing teams to shoot 51% from the field and 47% (somehow) from three, so this was not a good spot to be in out of the break. Sure enough, OKC continued to run up the score. A banked three-pointer by Serge Ibaka made it 69-51 and, to be honest, I wanted to turn the broadcast off right then and there. By the start of the fourth the lead had ballooned to 35 and the #dontloseby50 chants had begun on Twitter.
I rather be deported by Donald Trump than watch THIS @memgrizz game— mehdi sadeghi (@mehdidds) December 9, 2015
We did manage to avoid another 50-piece, but not convincingly. Vince Carter and Zach Randolph played surprisingly deep into the fourth quarter, raising recurrent concerns about lineup decisions by CDJ. (Related: I hear James Ennis cleaned up in his last game for Iowa.)
Mario Chalmers was the only outstanding Grizzly with a line of 19 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, and a block. Zach Randolph finished 3-10, and Mike Conley 0-7.
It's not like one thing went wrong for the Grizzlies tonight - the whole game was a farce. But if you're in the mood to scape some goats, our own Matt Hrdlicka spent the evening documenting Jeff Green's horrendous off-ball defense.
Zach Randolph and Tony Allen aren't convincing anyone that they should be left in the starting lineup. Zach was outdueled multiple times for offensive rebounds by Steven Adams.
For every fan of Joerger's late-game playcalling heroics - of which I am one - he earns one critic every time the Grizzlies come out of the locker room looking like they just took a nap. You can't perpetually lose third quarters and expect to win 40+ games.