Not a fun game, as the Thunder railed off a 21-6 run to end the first half and never looked back. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant combined for 50 points before getting most of the end of the game off to rest. The Grizzlies were led in scoring by 16 points from Zach Randolph. Dispirited ball was the theme for the good guys, and after an extended stretch of winning, the Grizzlies will go into the All-Star break on a dud. Expect bad grades tonight!
Mike Conley – 18 MIN | 8 PTS | 1 AST | 2/7 FGM/A – Grade: C-
Conley dealt with early foul trouble, and never really found a rhythm. He was a non-factor on both ends in this game, a disappointing outcome in what could've been a great statement game against Westbrook.
Courtney Lee – 18 MIN | 0 PTS/REB/AST/STL/BLK | 0/5 FGM/A – Grade: F-
Zeroes across the board. I just called Conley a non-factor, but at least he racked up a few counting stats. On a night where the Grizzlies were 2-for-12 from 3, Lee's long-range shooting (0-for-3 from deep) would've been greatly appreciated.
Jeff Green – 35 MIN | 11 PTS | 2 REB | 4/13 FGM/A – Grade: C-
Another rough shooting night, and Green was roasted by Durant on defense. He looks good when he can catch the ball with momentum on a cut to the rim, but his jumpers are evoking memories of Tayshaun Prince these days. At least Prince never plays 35 minutes.
Zach Randolph – 30 MIN | 16 PTS | 11 REB | 5/15 FGM/A – Grade: B+
Randolph was the Grizzlies' best player in the early going – bonus points for being one of the few that showed up to play. He was beasting the offensive glass, hitting cutters out of the post, and generally being Z-Bo. Unfortunately, the 0-for-7 second half shooting line was a big factor in the team being unable to mount a comeback.
Marc Gasol – 26 MIN | 8 PTS | 5 REB | 2/10 FGM/A – Grade: C+
Passivity reared its ugly head again as we saw a Gasol that was willing to defer and float lazily in the midrange area. He made a few good plays here and there, but there was no sustained production and he just never looked like himself.
Tony Allen – 27 MIN | 9 PTS | 6 REB | 4/6 FGM/A – Grade: B+
Nothing really to criticize here. Allen played hard – I don't think he had a single 'trick' moment tonight – and did what was asked of him. Problem is, he probably could've taken on more in this game. The Grindfather did fine against the likes of Dion Waiters and Anthony Morrow, but he probably should've had a shot at Durant with how Green was faring.
Kosta Koufos – 24 MIN | 6 PTS | 6 REB | 3/4 FGM/A – Grade: B
Koufos was terrific in the second quarter stretch where both teams deployed their second units, active on the boards and finishing looks in the paint with his signature soft touch.
Nick Calathes – 24 MIN | 10 PTS | 4 AST | 5/8 FGM/A – Grade: B+
When Conley got the early hook due to foul trouble, Calathes came in and gave the Grizzlies some good minutes. He looked comfortable operating within the flow of the offense, and most importantly, gave the Grizzlies solid perimeter defense against Westbrook and Reggie Jackson.
Beno Udrih – 19 MIN | 11 PTS | 1 REB | 4/11 FGM/A – Grade: B-
Zero assists and a poor shooting line don't make his stat line look all that good, but Udrih had fine moments in the first half in his usual role as pull-up jumper virtuoso off the bench.
Russ Smith – 4 MIN | 5 PTS | 1 AST | 1/2 FGM/A – Grade: A+++
Looked fast as heck in his Grizzlies debut. We'll see if people remember to tweet #FreeRussSmith after the All-Star break.
Dave Joerger – D
It's a rare occasion when we have to criticize Joerger, but this was a wholly dispiriting performance from the Grizzlies. That Allen didn't get a chance at Durant after Green was eviscerated all game long was borderline criminal. After the Thunder ended the first half on a 21-6 run that put them up by 18, the Grizzlies never got close again. There was no energy coming out of halftime, no last-ditch effort at a comeback. It just wasn't a good night of corralling the troops for Joerger.