Thunder-Grizzlies: Grading Oklahoma City's 111-105 overtime loss to Memphis

REPORT CARD — Beno Udrih, not Tony Allen, was the cause for the Thunder’s lowest grades in Game 2.
by Berry Tramel Published: April 21, 2014


photo - Oklahoma City's Reggie Jackson (15) tries to get around Memphis' Beno Udrih (19), Marc Gasol (33), and Ed Davis (32) during Game 2 in the first round of the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Monday, April 21, 2014. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Reggie Jackson (15) tries to get around Memphis' Beno Udrih (19), Marc Gasol (33), and Ed Davis (32) during Game 2 in the first round of the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Monday, April 21, 2014. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

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.


by Berry Tramel
Columnist
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...
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