Perhaps coach Scott Brooks was having flashbacks while the Thunder was beating the living daylights out of Charlotte in a record-setting 114-69 victory at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Monday night.
The last team to struggle like that inside the facility was the Thunder in its first month of existence when Brooks, then an assistant, inherited a 1-12 team after P.J. Carlesimo was fired as coach. Brooks promptly went 1-12 himself.
The 45-point victory is the largest in OKC history and the 69 points were the fewest the Thunder has ever allowed.
A sellout crowd of 18,203 was kind enough to stick around until the fourth quarter before getting on with their lives.
The game could have gotten even more out of hand had Brooks not taken his starters out with 6:58 remaining in the third quarter when the mismatch had reached its pinnacle at 79-25. From that point forward, Charlotte outscored the Thunder 44-35.
The Thunder was shooting 59.6 percent from the field when its starters were removed from the game compared to 17.8 percent for the Bobcats.
Perhaps some NBA futility records could have been set — such as fewest points in the 24-second shot clock era (1954-55) by Chicago in an 82-49 loss to Miami on April 10, 1999 — had Brooks not been so sympathetic.
“They were hitting on all five pistons,” Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap said of the Thunder.
Charlotte (7-6) came in on such a high note.
Last season, the Bobcats finished 7-59 to set a season record for the worst winning percentage in NBA history (. 106).
This season, the Bobcats became the fastest team in NBA history to match its previous season's victory total (12 games).
Then again, having the worst record in history naturally lends itself to having the quickest turnaround.
Asked how the game got away so fast, former Thunder center Byron Mullens said: “I have no idea. Oklahoma City is a great team. It got out of hand real quick. … They got us tonight, I don't know what else to say.”
Everyone inside the Charlotte locker room was quick to mention Atlanta, which is who the Bobcats play next on Wednesday.
Charlotte had yet to leave town, but OKC already was in its rear-view mirror.
“We are too young to throw the (game) tape away, where there is plenty of good material there in terms of what we value,” Dunlap said. “So we will get through those simple tenets and, again, you can overreact in these situations, but you need to react and respond to it.”
Dunlap said the biggest discrepancy on the stat sheet was rebounding, where the Thunder owned a 54-37 advantage.
Actually, the game's biggest mismatch was on the scoreboard.
“I am the type of person who doesn't like to lose under any circumstance,” Dunlap said. “But I also have a macro view, a big-picture view to the whole thing, and overreacting in the NBA is a bad way of going about your business. … We know that OKC is a test for us — we failed miserably. But there are better days ahead.”