If you watched the first quarter of Saturday’s Game 3 between the Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Lakers, congratulations. You watched NBA Playoff history.
Defensively, the Grizzlies were bad, with the Lakers scoring 35 points. But Memphis’ defense looked like world-beaters compared to its offense.
The Grizzlies finished the first quarter with nine points scored. That set a new leaguewide low for points scored in a quarter and also helped the Lakers tie a record for the biggest lead held after the first quarter of a playoff game.
The 26-point deficit equaled the largest any team in NBA history has ever faced after the first quarter of a postseason game. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the nine points were the fewest scored by an NBA team in any quarter this season.
The Grizzlies’ 9 points in the first quarter were the fewest by any team in any quarter all season, per @ESPNStatsInfo. https://t.co/B6mYrRkhiS
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) April 23, 2023
Memphis guard Dillon Brooks had a lot to say after the Grizzlies won Game 2 to even the series at 1-1.
Knowing that, NBA Twitter seemed to enjoy letting Brooks and the Grizzlies know just how bad their showing at the start of Game 3 was.
"This is, for a young team – Memphis, I would call them unbothered… but right now, they can't put the ball in the ocean" – Doris Burke 🏀⛔🌊 pic.twitter.com/wKuXMZUA12
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) April 23, 2023
Bruh they really scored 9 points in the first quarter 😂
— Phillip Dorsett II (@Dorsett_4) April 23, 2023
Even the Suns fan in me who was there when we scored 27 in a half is wondering how a 9 point first quarter is possible
— JaguarGator9 (@JaguarGator9NFL) April 23, 2023
"I don't need to score 40 when y'all score 9 points a quarter" pic.twitter.com/MKUo286jj5
— Kofie (@Kofie) April 23, 2023
Waiting for the ESPN graphic:
9 points is the lowest 1st quarter total since the 1948 Nevada Hurricanes
— Dehls (@JoelDehls) April 23, 2023
9 points in a full quarter of NBA basketball……….. pic.twitter.com/J9yzWxI00H
— AJ King (@allday_ajking) April 23, 2023
A 9 point first quarter playoff game pic.twitter.com/FVcpThW7QL
— Dom2K 🌊🏖 (@Dom_2k) April 23, 2023
Looking for positives from Memphis’ perspective, there’s plenty of time to shake this off, especially given that it’s not an elimination game. But it’s hard to imagine how a team could come out this flat in a playoff game after two days of rest.
[Tim MacMahon, Photo Credit: ESPN]