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After 62-point win over Trail Blazers, Thunder reflect on 73-point loss to Grizzlies

Slghtly more than two years ago, the Oklahoma City Thunder hit the lowest point of their rebuild when they suffered a jaw-dropping 73-point loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.

The game marked the largest margin of defeat in NBA history. Following the loss, the Thunder faced scrutiny and mockery for allowing such a margin to happen in an NBA contest.

In the Thunder’s 139-77 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday, the tables turned for OKC. The 62-point win marks the fifth-largest margin of victory in NBA history and it was the largest winning margin in Thunder history.

The lopsided win, which, poetically enough, moved OKC into a first-place tie, provided Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, two of the few remaining figures left from the 2021-22 squad, a chance to reflect.

Daigneault talked about how prideful they were over that night, stating it helped them grow into the young contenders they are today.

“That was an important game for us. I thought we learned a lot of lessons from that game,” Daigneault said. “You learn that it’s one game. That’s a true 0-0 thing when you come out of that thing. You learn the sun comes up the next day, you have practice the next day.

“Competition is hard, Fear is something that is an emotion you feel in competition. That’s like your worst nightmare, that game. But the fear of it is worse than the reality of it. The reality is you lose the game, you taste your own blood and then you wake up the next day, you’re 0-0. You have practice and got another game coming

“So we learned a lot from that. It built some good fortitude in the team and some good scars to the point where now it’s kinda a badge of honor.”

Gilgeous-Alexander, who missed the historic loss because he was in the league’s concussion protocol, revealed the team held a meeting afterward and vowed to never let that happen again.

“It was embarrassing and I did feel bad just because I wasn’t out there with them,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “After that game, we addressed it, and we just made a promise to ourselves to never feel that feeling again. I think it’s been a little bit of our fuel to get to where we are today.”

Even though the Thunder are the new darlings of the league, they haven’t forgotten the humbling beginnings of this core. It has been a long journey, but it appears OKC is in the infancy stage of a contention window spearheaded by the head coach and franchise player.

Story originally appeared on Thunder Wire