I started watching NBA games today without realizing how especially bad some teams would play. There’s something to be said when the Dallas Mavericks losing by 38 points to the Golden State Warriors wasn’t the worst performance to the night. In fact, I’m probably not going to remember Dallas losing to a Golden State team that played great team ball.
Instead, I’ll be remembering the other two teams that somehow managed to do even worse than the Mavericks.
My hapless Sacramento Kings are first in line. In an away game against the Boston Celtics, they started the first quarter off being down 38-13, and things only got worse from there. By the time the dust settled, they had lost 128-75. The final margin of defeat was 53 points. Hell, the Celtics were laughing at us on the bench, and I can’t blame them.
Fortunately for the Kings, it wasn’t the worst loss in history, which was a record set by the Oklahoma City Thunder this season after losing by 73 points to the Memphis Grizzlies on December 2, 2021. It wasn’t even the worst loss in franchise history, because the Kings lost by 62 to the Warriors on November 2, 1991.
Still, getting your ass whooped by 53 points isn’t something you forget anytime soon. They played 13 players in the game, and only one of them scored in double figures. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined for 66, meaning that two guys almost outscored 13 people in a single game.
Tyrese Haliburton was stoic in defeat, but man, that’s got to hurt.
So far, we’ve talked about a team that got whooped from end to end. However, the Washington Wizards set their own infamous record today, becoming the team to perform the second-worst choke job in NBA history. After being up by 35 points with a little over a minute left in the second quarter, they allowed the Clippers, who were without Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, outscore them 85-49 the rest of the way.
The worst thing for the Wizards is that they had their key guys available, which is how they built the lead in the first place. Losing by a point to a depleted team after being up 35 is nothing short of embarrassing. It’s just one of those shell-shocking moments that follow you around for a while. It will clearly follow at least one Wizards fan, whose live reaction to Luke Kennard’s buzzer-beating three will forever be the stuff of legends.