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OKC Thunder: Report card for Game 5 vs. Lakers

Staff writer Berry Tramel grades Monday night's Western Conference semifinal at Chesapeake Arena.
by Berry Tramel Published: May 21, 2012

Dunks: A. The Thunder did not shoot well through three quarters – 22 of 62 on non-dunks. But OKC got 11 dunks the first three quarters, which kept the shooting percentage presentable. Serge Ibaka had three dunks. Nazr Mohammed had two, and so did James Harden. Thabo Sefolosha, Kendrick Perkins and Kevin Durant each had one. The Thunder's interior passing was pristine – OKC finished with 20 assists.

Rebounding: A. The Thunder's season-long Achilles heel, giving up offensive rebounds, was nowhere to be found. The Lakers had just three offensive rebounds and only six second-chance points. Meanwhile, Ibaka had five offensive rebounds in the first quarter alone. OKC finished with 14 offensive rebounds and 13 second-chance points.

Defending Kobe: D. This was the Thunder's worst effort against Kobe Bryant, who made 18 of 33 shots and scored 42 points. Kobe got loose early and often for easy baskets. He scored a ton of points on drives and dunks. Sefolosha was not his usual bothersome self.

Parking: D. Walking through Bricktown three hours before tipoff, I saw a sign I thought I'd never see in OKC. “Parking $30.” It was in the lot just south of Zio's, a block or so east of the arena. Forget the NBA. You know you're a big-league city when a parking space can fetch $30.

Small Ball: A. Scotty Brooks used his B team to start the second quarter – and stayed with it too long. A 26-21 Thunder lead evaporated into a 35-32 deficit when the cavalry came. But at the start of the fourth quarter, Brooks switched from his normal rotation and went with the small lineup of the big three, Derek Fisher and Collison. An 83-77 Thunder lead mushroomed to 97-82 by the time Brooks went big again.

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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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