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.
Killer instinct: A. Neither Durant nor Russell Westbrook started well, but they finished strong. Westbrook scored 20 second-half points, including a flurry late in the third quarter that gave OKC a cushion. Then Durant nailed consecutive 3-pointers to give the Thunder total command.
T-shirts: B. Back to straight blue, which always is a solid look. Makes it easier on the Thunder wearing white. But the T-shirt fad has run its course. Time for new blood. How about next game, passing out T-shirts adorned with fishing lures, in tribute to Westbrook? TJ Maxx might sign on as sponsor.
Bench: A. The B team wasn't effective, but the Thunder reserves were. Harden was his usual efficient self, with 17 points on 10 shots. Collison had his best game of the series, with six rebounds and six points and solid defense against Andrew Bynum. Even Mohammed had six points. Meanwhile, the Laker bench totaled just five points, and LA coach Mike Brown used his starters an average of 391/2 minutes each. By the fourth quarter, that fatigued showed.
Free-throw defense: A. The Lakers missed six foul shots in 26 attempts. If the Thunder had hexed LA like that in Game 3 (when the Lakers made 41 of 42), there would have been no Game 5.