Jan 31, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) handles the ball against Memphis Grizzlies guard Jerryd Bayless (7) during the first half at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Short-Handed Grizzlies Fall To Thunder.

The first game of the post Rudy Gay era went about as well as you could hope a road game against the defending Western Conference champions with only nine available players would go.

The Grizzlies lost on Thursday night to the Oklahoma City Thunder, 106-89 in a game that they never led.

The Thunder led by 10 at the end of the first quarter and the Thunder shot over 55% for the whole game as the Grizzlies shot only 34%.

The Grizzlies did manage to get within 10 points in the fourth quarter, but Kevin Durant was able to carry the Thunder home as he finished with 27 points on 10-16 shooting.

For the Grizzlies, Jerryd Bayless led the way with 23 points in what was his best performance in Beale Street Blue but Zach Randolph was 4-17 from the floor as backup big man Nick Collison continued to frustrate and do as good a job of defending Randolph as anyone. That trend dates back to the 2011 playoffs when Randolph ran roughshod over the Thunder in the first three games until Oklahoma City stumbled upon Collison’s voodoo on Randolph. From that point on, the Thunder won three out of the remaining four games with only one huge Randolph game in game 6 keeping them from a clean sweep.

To be fair, the Grizzlies may have missed Rudy Gay a bit in this game, but the Thunder were up for the game, especially after Memphis had already won in Oklahoma City earlier this season. Everyone involved in Wednesday afternoon’s trade was inactive for each of the three teams involved.

The Grizzlies return home to The Bluff City to host the Washington Wizards tonight.

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