The Thunder did not look smooth in Game 2 against the Grizzlies, won by Memphis 111-105 in overtime. Of course, Memphis often makes opponents look rough. And the Game 2 grades reflect that.
Combatting Tony Allen: B. For all the angst over Tony Allen’s defense, Kevin Durant still scored 36 points on 12-of-28 shooting, including 5-of-12 from 3-point range. Plus four assists and one turnover. Against Memphis, that’s winning basketball. Too much international distress signal – Durant standing on the wing, raising his arm for a lob pass – but for the most part, Durant’s offense was not the problem.
Pace: C. The Thunder outscored the Grizzlies just 16-10 in fast-break points. In Game 1, that edge was 32-13. Memphis did not allow the Thunder to get out and run. Part of that was yet another game of few turnovers – just six in regulation for Memphis, which meant the Thunder couldn’t get out and run much.
Halftime act: B. 2Cellos, Croation cellists Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, are YouTube sensations, their rendition of “Thunderstruck” having drawn 16 million viewers. Seems like a natural for a Thunder game. And their talent is beyond question. But the entertainment bar is set rather high. Quick Change performed at Game 1. Without 20-foot unicycles or feats of intrigue, hard to keep the crowd riveted.
Bench scoring: D. Beno Udrih, a third-team point guard playing only because Nick Calathes was suspended for the playoffs, equaled the Thunder bench scoring (14 points) all by himself. Derek Fisher was a first-half force with seven points, but Caron Butler, Reggie Jackson and Nick Collison combined for seven points total.