Former Baylor MBB guard scores NBA career-high 25 points

Jared Butler
Jared Butler(BAYLOR MBB)
Published: Apr. 9, 2023 at 10:20 PM CDT
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OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma (AP) - Tre Mann notched his first career triple-double, and the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 115-100 on Sunday in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Mann finished with 24 points, career highs of 12 rebounds and 12 assists and an extended postgame dousing from his jubilant teammates.

“I seen it coming,” he said. “But like, I didn’t know they was going to keep coming. I feel like ... they poured the most water on me. And they poured Gatorade, too, so it’s crazy. I’ll get them back, though.”

Jared Butler scored a career-high 25 points and Olivier Sarr added 22 points and a career-best 15 rebounds for the Thunder, who finished with a 40-42 record after going 24-58 last season.

Kenneth Lofton Jr. scored a career-high 42 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for Memphis. Ziaire Williams added career-bests of 24 points and nine assists for the Grizzlies.

Both teams were locked into their seeds in the Western Conference before the tip — Memphis at No. 2 and Oklahoma City at No. 10 — so key players for both teams sat out. Memphis’ Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Dillon Brooks and Oklahoma City’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jalen Williams, Josh Giddey and Lu Dort were among those who did not play.

Mann and the other reserves who got extended minutes understood their roles.

“We stepped up when they called us to just give our guys a rest going into the postseason,” he said. “So, you know, we went out there, played hard and had fun playing together.”

Thunder fans were fired up at the Paycom Center with the Thunder preparing for the Play-In game on Wednesday — the first postseason action for the franchise since 2020. Thunder players signed autographs before the game. The seats were mostly full, even though the fans knew ahead of time that the game wouldn’t affect the standings.

The Thunder dominated the second half, shooting 56.5% and outscoring the Grizzlies 68-51.

“Offensively they moved the ball and made all the right plays and allowed the defense to dictate what we got,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said. “And I thought we got great shots as a result.”