Player grades: Thunder blow out depleted Grizzlies with 124-93 win

OKLAHOMA CITY — Swishing in a catch-and-shoot 3-pointer, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s outside shot previewed the type of night he’d enjoyed. Less than five minutes in, OKC already built a double-digit advantage as Memphis called a timeout.

The Oklahoma City Thunder collected a low-stress, relaxed 124-93 win over the depleted Memphis Grizzlies. The victory gives OKC extra space at the top of the Western Conference standings.

“You see games every night in the NBA where a team’s banged up or a team with a lesser record knocks off a team with a better record,” Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault said on the win. “I never take for granted when we give that kinda energy output and it was from the jump.”

The Thunder led wire-to-wire and by double-digits for most of the contest. Their largest lead was 38 points. After the first quarter, they held a 38-24 advantage. That ballooned in the second quarter with a 26-point frame and entered halftime holding a commanding 64-43 lead.

The third quarter was much of the same as OKC scored 38 points in the frame to enter the fourth quarter holding an overwhelming 34-point lead. By the end of three quarters, the Thunder already surpassed triple-digit points.

Overall, the Thunder shot 53% from the field and went 21-of-47 (44.7%) from 3. They dished out 36 assists on 49 baskets. Four Thunder players scored double-digit points.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the way with 23 points in three quarters. Cason Wallace had 22 points off of the bench for the Thunder after he absorbed Jalen Williams’ minutes following an ankle sprain. Josh Giddey had a 16-point and 10-rebound double-double.

Meanwhile, the short-handed Grizzlies were limited to 41% shooting from the field and went 11-of-33 (33.3%) from 3. Only nine players for Memphis checked into the contest as it was limited to 68 points after three frames.

GG Jackson scored 30 points on 10-of-19 shooting and six rebounds. Jaren Jackson Jr. finish 16 points. Jake LaRavia had 13 points and four assists. Those were the only three players for the Grizzlies who had double-digit points.

While it might not be the most exciting win of the season, these types of performances are what separate the true contenders from the rest of the pack. The Grizzlies are amid a lost season as they’ve been ravaged by injuries, it would’ve been easy for OKC to rest on its laurels.

Instead, the Thunder didn’t enter the contest expecting an easy win and, in turn, were rewarded by resting their starters in the final frame with no threat of an upset by the short-handed Grizzlies.

“It’s important to not take a team lightly like that,” Giddey said. “Undermanned, they got guys over there fighting for contracts, fighting for minutes and that’s a dangerous team to play. I thought we did a good job at playing the game, not the opponent.”

Let’s look at Thunder player grades.

Story originally appeared on Thunder Wire