OKC converted its first nine field-goal attempts in Thursday's 106-89 victory over the Memphis at Chesapeake Energy Arena, and the Grizzlies countered by missing their first six shots from the floor.
That's the best shooting start in Thunder history and the best start in the NBA this season.
But even when OKC finally missed its first shot with 3:44 remaining in the opening quarter, its lead was just 20-14.
The Grizzlies scratched and clawed to stay close and Thunder cooperated with eight first-quarter turnovers.
OKC led 32-22 after the first quarter after shooting 80 percent (12 for 15) from the floor compared to 33.3 percent (8 for 24) for Memphis.
With the Thunder rarely missing, all seven of Memphis' rebounds in the first quarter were at the offensive end.
The Grizzlies shot 34.7 percent for the game compared to 55.6 percent for OKC.
“I think we played extremely well, sharing the ball and making the right play early,” Thunder guard Thabo Sefolosha said.
Memphis took 26 more shots and had 17 more offensive rebounds (21-4) than OKC, yet still lost by 17 points.
The Grizzlies failed to convert their second-chance opportunities, going just 5 for 20 from the field on follows.
Meanwhile, the Thunder had 25 assists on 40 field goals and outscored Memphis 40-32 in the paint and 24-14 in fast-break points.
Four-time All-Star and three-time scoring champ Kevin Durant got his eighth technical foul, a career high which is one off the NBA lead shared by Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Blake Griffin, Matt Barnes and DeMarcus Cousins.
A player is suspended for one game when he reaches 16.
Thunder reserve guard DeAndre Liggins also got a technical, his first of the season.
OKC forward Serge Ibaka got into early foul trouble and wound up playing just 26 minutes, but still had enough time to block six shots.
The Thunder, which ranks second in the NBA in blocked shots, finished with 11 for the game as Kendrick Perkins and Hasheem Thabeet added two each and Durant had one.
Memphis coach Lionel Hollins explaining why the Grizzlies traded away five players, including leading scorer Rudy Gay: “When you have champagne taste, you can't be on a beer budget. It's a small market and I understand the economics of being in a small market. I've been with the Grizzlies for 11 years in Memphis. Rudy Gay has been a big part of our success. I've known him as a kid as a rookie coming in. He's a big part of my success as a coach here and I feel I was a big part of his success and I wish him the best as he moves forward into the second chapter of his career.”
BY JOHN ROHDE