In order, they were energy, an edge and any semblance of execution.
One flowed magnificently into the next, forming one giant snowball from which the home team never could dodge and eventually would succumb to.
The result was a humbling, and at times humiliating, showing in Game 1 of its Western Conference Semifinal. The final scoreboard read Memphis 114, Thunder 101, but not even that spread illustrated how far this was from being a competitive game.
Memphis made such quick work of Oklahoma City the Thunder lost its last lead, a harmless 4-2 advantage, a minute and half into the game. The Grizzlies went on to lead by as many as 17, executing almost effortlessly against a Thunder team that was supposed to be using this postseason to march its way toward elite status.
“We didn't do anything well,” said Thunder forward Nick Collison.
The Thunder had a relatively straightforward strategy. Limit turnovers and control the glass by keeping offensive rebounds out of Memphis' mitts.
That blueprint came courtesy of three butt-whuppings the Grizzlies gave the Thunder during the regular season. In those four meetings, Memphis pulled down 50 offensive rebounds and racked up a 71-51 discrepancy in second-chance points.
Memphis also hounded the Thunder into 16.8 turnovers in those contests, right at its league-leading opponent average.
On Sunday, the Thunder managed to fall prey to those same problems. The Grizzlies scored 23 points off the Thunder's 18 turnovers and poured in 22 second-chance points off 17 offensive rebounds.
“Those are the two keys that we talked about before the game and we didn't do a good job with it,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said.
The most alarming aspect of Game 1 was the Thunder's defense.
It wasn't just that the Thunder allowed Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol to combine for 54 points and 23 rebounds, or that Oklahoma City watched Memphis flirt with 50 percent shooting for the game. Most disturbing is how the Grizzlies found little trouble getting their first option to go. And when they did, the Thunder rarely matched Memphis' second and third efforts, which led to momentum-swinging second chances and game-changing put-backs.
“With no real preparation, to come in here and play the way we (did) today was a good thing,” Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said.
That should make the Thunder tremble.
The Grizzlies were fresh off a hard-fought, six-game series against No. 1-seeded San Antonio. Memphis had one day of rest and had to travel in between series.
Oklahoma City had three days of rest and was in the confines of its home arena. And all the Thunder got was its worst defensive effort in 3 1/2 months.
The Thunder hasn't allowed 114 points in regulation since winning a 125-124 shootout against Orlando on Jan. 13. Memphis scored at least 27 points in each period and put this one away by bullying the Thunder to the tune of 52 points in the paint.
“We actually can live with Zach getting his 30 (points),” said Thunder center Kendrick Perkins. “It's the other guys that we got to take out the picture.”
Those other guys, Grizzlies Sam Young, Tony Allen, Mike Conley and Shane Battier, combined to score 44 points on 17 of 39 shooting. The Thunder never made that quartet feel uncomfortable, as they combined for only two of the Grizzlies' unbelievably-low eight turnovers.
“Our energy has to be higher,” Collison said. “I feel like we didn't really play hard enough. We didn't play enough with an edge. A lot of the stuff when you play against them is kind of easier said than done. It's easy to say we want to keep a tight paint.
It's easy to say we want to battle them on the boards. But the effort is the hard part. We really have to have an edge against this team and we didn't have enough of it today.”
The silver lining for Oklahoma City is that it's easier to have an edge when you're staring at an 0-1 hole.
“It's nothing to panic about,” Perkins said. “I actually like this situation for us because it's our first time ever being down in a series since we've been together.
“It's going to put anger in you. You're going to hear everything in the world about ‘They were more physical than you, they were this, they outhustled you, they beat you on your home court.' All that (does) for me is give me a spark.”
The Thunder needs one Tuesday in the worst way.