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OKC Thunder Game 2 report card: An 'A' on defending Kobe Bryant

Staff Writer Berry Tramel hands out grades from Game 2 between the Thunder and Lakers.
BY BERRY TRAMEL Published: May 16, 2012

Defending Kobe: A. Thabo Sefolosha wasn't the shut-down artist he was in Game 1, when Kobe Bryant scored just four points and made just one of six shots during the 17 minutes when Sefolosha was in the game. But still, the Thunder did a great job on the Laker gunner. Kobe had 20 points but shot 9-of-25 from the field. With Thabo on the court, Kobe made five of 11 shots and scored 10 points. That means Harden and Kevin Durant combined to hold Kobe to 4-of-16 shooting. And Thabo twice denied Kobe the ball on inbounds plays in the final five seconds.

Basket protection: A. Serge Ibaka blocked seven shots, including four by Andrew Bynum and one each by Kobe, Pau Gasol and Ramon Sessions. The only quibble, five of the blocks went out of bounds or into Laker hands. Hey, Serge. Knock the ball to a teammate.

Defending Bynum: B. I know it seemed like Bynum, the Laker skyscraper, scored all night long, and he finished with 20 points. But Bynum earned them. Kendrick Perkins played him tough all night; Bynum made just eight of 19 shots and didn't kill the Thunder on the boards (three offensive rebounds).

Post-game celebration: C. After an inbounds pass with one second left, the buzzer sounded and the streamers fell from the rafters. But the officials had called a foul on Metta World Chaos, and after a video review, they put 0.3 seconds back on the clock.

Passing: D. The Thunder overpassed, particularly in the interior, which led to 13 turnovers. And Durant passed too much, Scotty Brooks said, which led to KD's four turnovers.

Foul shooting: B. The Thunder made 13 of 16, so that's superb. But Durant has got to learn to better miss. Durant tried to miss the second of his two foul shots with 0.3 seconds left but missed the rim entirely, giving LA one last chance. Make the Lakers rebound the ball, and at least 0.1 seconds goes off the clock, meaning the Lakers by rule would not have time.

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