If the Memphis Grizzlies' first game of the post-Rudy Gay era is a sign of things to come, get ready for a whole lot of unhappy faces walking through Graceland. In a start-to-finish drubbing, the Grizzlies fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder, 106-89, as they looked completely lost on the offensive end of the floor.
Playing without Gay and with acquisitions Ed Davis, Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye still not ready to suit up, Memphis was noticeably shorthanded on Thursday. Lionel Hollins played seven guys 20-plus minutes and only nine players overall were run in what ended up being a blowout.
Almost from the opening tip, it became readily apparent that this wasn't going to be the Grizzlies' night. The Thunder started out on a 7-0 run, taking a lead they would never relinquish, as Memphis could not find the bottom of the bucket.
The Grizzlies ended the first quarter down, 32-22, as Oklahoma City led a team-wide assault on both ends of the floor. Though things looked relatively bad for Memphis in the first quarter, the train went completely off the rails in the second.
Playing stalwart basketball at both ends of the floor, the Thunder pretty much put the game away at the half. Kevin Durant scored 10 of his game-high 27 points, which wouldn't seem all that astounding until you consider it was only two less than the entire Grizzlies team did in the second period.
Oklahoma City went into the halftime break ahead 58-34, with Memphis looking like a team without offensive answers.
Zach Randolph was particularly dreadful. He went 0-of-9 from the field in the first half, and though he grabbed a ton of rebounds, it didn't exactly help because his teammates weren't getting the job done, either.
After the break, the contest felt like two teams going through the motions toward the final whistle. The Grizzlies did put on a spirited third-quarter run, but it was all for naught.
Memphis could not keep up its scorching shooting prowess during the fourth quarter, shooting 34.7 percent for the entire game, Oklahoma City was able to keep pace for an easy victory.
Player of the Game: Kevin Durant
No player in the NBA can make a big scoring night look easier than Durant. Though he failed to make any shots from beyond the arc, KD still drained 10-of-16 field goals and drained seven free throws en route to a 27-point performance.
Durant also flashed his all-around offensive flair on Thursday, grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out six assists.
Deserving of honorable mention was Russell Westbrook, who put together an efficient 21 points while adding nine rebounds and six assists as well.
What's Next for the Grizzlies?
No days off for the 29-16 Grizzlies, as they will head back home to take on the Washington Wizards on Friday night.
What's Next for the Thunder?
The 35-11 Thunder will get a 24-hour reprieve from NBA life before hitting the road to face the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday.