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NBA Finals Game 2 report card: Thunder bench gets an 'A'; Aggression gets a 'B'

James Harden returned to high productivity, with 21 points. He basically kept the Thunder in this game. And while Nick Collison didn't have numbers to speak of (three rebounds, no points), the Thunder outscored Miami by eight points during the 14 1/2 minutes Collison was on the court.
by Berry Tramel Published: June 15, 2012

Aggression: B. The Thunder kept attacking the basket, which is good when your offense is stuck in cement. But the energy that willed the Thunder to a Game 1 victory was missing. The telling play: the Heat's Chris Bosh outhustled three Boomers for an offensive rebound early in the fourth quarter, leading to a 54-second possession and two Bosh foul shots that put OKC in an 82-69 hole.

Fans: C. The blue-and-white mob was loud and proud, as usual. But with 53.8 seconds left and the Thunder down 98-91, chunks of fans headed for the exits. There's more to a good fan base than just yelling and standing. Showing a little faith is part of it, too, and it would have served the early exiters right if Durant's late shot had gone in and sent the game to overtime.

Foul shooting: C. For the second straight game, the Thunder was off from the line. In Game 1, OKC made its final nine to finish 20 of 27. In Game 2, 19 of 26. That's 73.1 percent, decent for most teams but down for the Thunder. Harden missed two straight after a third-quarter foul. Durant and Westbrook each twice went 1-for-2. That matters in a close game.

Luck: D. Forget the whistles, either way. The Thunder was on the wrong side of fortune. Shane Battier banked in a straightaway 3-pointer with the Heat up 87-83 with 5 1/2 minutes left. And replay overturned an out-of-bounds call, giving Miami the ball with 1:11 left and the Thunder down 96-91. Fifty seconds earlier, and the ball would have stayed with OKC.

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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