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Three Takeaways from OKC's Dismantling Win Over the Memphis Grizzlies

The Oklahoma City Thunder gained its 45th win of the season in a 31-point win, blowing out the Memphis Grizzlies in dominating fashion.
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Sunday night was a nice change of pace for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

After a stretch of tough games against the likes of the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City finally received a game it could coast through against the Memphis Grizzlies, coming out on top 124-93.

The Thunder had a dominant 38-point quarter that created a lead that stayed true throughout the contest, most notably in the second quarter where it scored the same amount again. It hardly needed production from its starting lineup like it typically gets, instead relying on the bench to close out the final quarter.

Simple wins are hard to come by as it gets closer to the playoffs in a highly competitive Western Conference race, but Oklahoma City was able to achieve that in spades. It'll prove to be beneficial as it tests itself against the Indiana Pacers and Dallas Mavericks in the coming days.

Jaylin Williams, OKC Thunder, Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies

Jaylin Williams (left), Jaren Jackson Jr. (right)

Wallace Shines

The brightest star for the Thunder last night was Cason Wallace. 

The rookie has been outshined in the grand scheme of things from Chet Holmgren's dominance, but has been an incredible piece for Oklahoma City. He recorded a career high of 24 points with four assists and a block on 9-of-14 shooting, proving to be the driver for the blowout win. 

At only 20-years-old, Wallace has been highly impressive. He's one of the best defenders on the team, even having the ability to replace Luguentz Dort without losing much. He also is one of the league's most efficient offensive players, currently holding a 50/40/80% shooting split on the year.

Wallace is an incredibly important piece that has proven his worth throughout the season, so he should see valuable minutes once the playoffs begin. Although he isn't noticed across the NBA as much as some of his peers, the win over Memphis gave him that opportunity. 

High Bench Usage

Due to the nature of a blowout, the Thunder bench received most of the playing time throughout the contest.

All 15 players on the roster received minutes from head coach Mark Daigneault, leaving a lot of room to see who could perform the best. Wallace had the best showing from the bench, ass already noted, but most of the lineup had similar production. 

Following Wallace, the bench point leaders consisted of Isaiah Joe's seven points, Lindy Waters III's six and Gordon Hayward, Kenrich Williams and Jaylin Williams each pitching in five. It was a balanced effort, but exactly what Oklahoma City needed to close out the game and prevent the Grizzlies from making a run. 

All 15 players won't be playing come playoff time, but now is the best time to figure out who Daigneault will prioritize putting on the floor. Those mentioned showcased what they could do, while those like Ousmane Dieng and Mike Muscala couldn't provide much in their limited minutes. 

Either way, the win served as a nice break from high minutes for the starters, allowing them to cruise and take an easy game. 

3-Pointer Galore

One of the biggest drivers of the Thunder's win was its success from behind the arc. 

On the night, Oklahoma City shot 21-of-47 from the 3-point line, being both a efficient and high-volume night from that area. Compared to Memphis' 11-of-33 night, the Thunder had the clear advantage. 

It's been a point of emphasis for Oklahoma City all season long, but only because of the fantastic 3-point shooting from its personnel. Even though Shai Gilgeous-Alexander isn't exactly an elite shooter, nearly everyone around him can serve as a spot-up shooter that spaces the floor for him to create. 

The Thunder actually are the NBA's most efficient shooting team with an average of 39.4%, which could be considered one of the biggest reasons while it finds itself as the current No. 1 seed in the West. As long as it carries into the playoffs, opposing teams will have a tough time dealing with it's success from the outside.

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