Largest Point Differential NBA Game: Grizzlies vs Thunder


In the vast history of the NBA, certain games stand out for their extraordinary outcomes. This article delves into one such game, notable for the largest point differential NBA game. We'll explore the context, the teams involved, and the remarkable events that led to this historic moment on the basketball court. The Memphis Grizzlies' victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder marked the largest point differential nba game, with a staggering 73-point margin.

Greatest Regular-Season Margins in NBA History

The NBA has witnessed some of its most staggering score disparities during regular-season games.

Among these monumental blowouts, one stands out prominently:

Largest Point differential NBA game: Grizzlies vs Thunder score 152:79 – 73Point Margin

  • Memphis Grizzlies 152, Oklahoma City Thunder 79 (Dec. 2, 2021)

In a game etched into the annals of NBA history for its sheer one-sidedness, the Memphis Grizzlies orchestrated a masterclass performance against the Oklahoma City Thunder, culminating in a resounding 152-79 victory. Jackson spearheaded the Grizzlies' offensive onslaught with 27 points, while Melton added 19 points, showcasing a formidable display of teamwork that saw nine Grizzlies players reach double-digit scoring figures. With unrelenting dominance, the Grizzlies steadily widened the chasm between the two teams, amassing at least 31 points in each quarter and boasting an impressive 52.8% shooting accuracy from beyond the three-point line. This commanding triumph not only secured a franchise record for the Grizzlies but also etched their name in the NBA annals with a historic 73-point margin—the largest point differential NBA game ever recorded in NBA history. Hindered by the absence of key starters Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey, the Thunder struggled to find their shooting rhythm, managing a meager 32.9% shooting efficiency from the field.

Largest Point Differential NBA Game: Grizzlies vs. Thunder

Utter Dominance on the Court: Grizzlies vs Thunder

Memphis boasted four players with a plus-minus rating exceeding 40, further underscoring their utter dominance on the court. Conversely, the Thunder, deprived of the services of Gilgeous-Alexander and Giddey, faltered, with the rest of the team collectively shooting a dismal 32.9% from the field.

The encounter was nothing short of a rout. The Memphis Grizzlies left no room for doubt as they dismantled the Oklahoma City Thunder 152-79. Led by Jackson's 27-point performance and Melton's 19-point contribution, the Grizzlies orchestrated an offensive spectacle, with nine players registering double-digit scoring figures. Their relentless assault left the Oklahoma City Thunder (6 wins, 16 losses) hapless on their home turf. Securing their third consecutive victory, the Grizzlies shattered franchise records while establishing an unprecedented 73-point chasm—the largest in NBA history. In contrast, the Thunder endured their eighth successive defeat. Jackson led the charge for the Grizzlies, notching 27 points and 3 rebounds, while Melton showcased his versatility with 19 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. Aldama contributed 18 points alongside 10 rebounds, with Konchar (17 points), Tillman (11 points), Culver (11 points), Brooks (11 points), Clarke (11 points), and Jones (10 points) rounding out the scoring spree. For the Thunder, Dort managed 15 points, while Muscala and Jerome each contributed 12 points.

A Commanding Lead: Grizzlies' Offensive Onslaught

The absence of Alexander and Giddey from the Thunder lineup proved detrimental. Seizing control on their home court, the Grizzlies surged to a commanding 10-3 lead early on. Although Dort momentarily narrowed the deficit with three successful free throws, Jackson responded emphatically, notching 5 consecutive points to extend the Grizzlies' advantage. With Melton sinking a crucial three-pointer, the Grizzlies raced to a commanding 20-8 lead. Despite Dort's valiant efforts to mount a resurgence, Aldama spearheaded the Grizzlies' offensive charge, amassing 6 consecutive points to close out the first quarter with a commanding 31-16 lead.

Thunder's Offensive Spark and Grizzlies' Response

In the second quarter, Roby's free throws ignited the Thunder's offense, met with a fierce comeback from Jones, who extended the Grizzlies' lead. Both teams engaged in a back-and-forth exchange, featuring impressive three-point shooting from Melton, Jones, and Jackson. The Grizzlies embarked on an 11-0 run, extending their lead to 54-28. Despite Dort's efforts, Clarke's surge and contributions from Jerome and Melton propelled the Grizzlies to an imposing 32-point lead. The first half concluded with a dominant 72-36 lead for the Grizzlies, with Melton shining with 17 points and 4 assists, followed by Jackson and Jones. Dort stood out with 10 points for the Thunder.

As the third quarter commenced, Mann opened proceedings with a confident jump shot, swiftly followed by Jackson's two three-pointers and Brooks' 4-point contribution. This concerted effort propelled the Grizzlies to a commanding 84-38 lead. Despite Dort's valiant attempts to stem the tide with successful free throws, the Grizzlies' offensive juggernaut continued unabated. Jackson and Clarke showcased their long-range shooting prowess, leading the team to another 8-point surge, extending the Grizzlies' lead to an insurmountable 52 points. Although Dort and Muscala managed to halt the bleeding momentarily with successful three-pointers, the Grizzlies responded emphatically, notching an additional 8 points to widen the gap. Muscala added another three-pointer to his tally, but Konchar's 5 consecutive points ensured the Grizzlies concluded the third quarter with an overwhelming 113-62 lead.

The Grizzlies' Resounding Triumph

With the fourth quarter unfolding into a one-sided affair, both teams opted to introduce substitutes early on. Undeterred, the Grizzlies continued to assert their dominance, ultimately emerging triumphant with a resounding 152-79 victory. Their staggering 73-point margin in a single game etched a new chapter in NBA history.

  • Thunder Starting Lineup: Mann, Jerome, Earl, Dort, Bazley
  • Grizzlies Starting Lineup: Jones, Bane, Brooks, Jackson, Adams

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Let's delve into other noteworthy historical score disparities:

Largest Point differential NBA game: Cavaliers vs Heat score 148:80 – 68Point Margin

  • Cleveland Cavaliers 148, Miami Heat 80 (Dec. 17, 1991)

Before the LeBron James era, the Cavaliers and Heat clashed in a game that would go down in history.

Despite no Cavalier surpassing the 18-point mark, as achieved by Mark Price and John Battle, Cleveland orchestrated a dominant second-half performance, outscoring Miami 75-27, including a staggering 42-13 onslaught in the fourth quarter. Miami struggled to find offensive rhythm, with only two players reaching double figures (Steve Smith and Kevin Edwards), while Glen Rice was limited to a mere nine points. Despite this monumental defeat, the Cavaliers advanced to the East semifinals, where they defeated the Boston Celtics before succumbing to the Bulls in the conference finals.

Largest Point differential NBA game: Pacers vs Trail Blazers score 124:59 – 65Point Margin

  • Indiana Pacers 124, Portland Trail Blazers 59 (Feb. 27, 1998)

While most games have been characterized by strong offense, this encounter broke the mold.

The Portland Trail Blazers failed to score more than 16 points in each quarter and were defeated 124-59. Despite five-time All-Star and Hall of Famer Reggie Miller's 11 points, the Pacers showed off exceptional depth with eight players scoring in double figures. Despite the big win, the Trail Blazers clinched the sixth spot in the Western Conference before losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1.

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