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OKC Thunder Game 2 report card: Defense gets a 'D', Resolve an 'A'

Staff writer Berry Tramel hands out grades for Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals
BY BERRY TRAMEL Published: May 29, 2012
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Hit-a-Split: B. Brooks' decision to intentionally foul Splitter on five consecutive possessions late in the third quarter proved semi-effective. Splitter made five of the 10 foul shots, and though the Thunder only sliced its deficit from 17 to 16, it lengthened the game and stifled the Spurs' momentum. The primary downside was that Brooks called for the tactic right after Parker went to the bench. Better to use it when Parker is on the floor.

Defending Manu: C. Manu Ginobili didn't slay the Thunder like he did in Game 1 – this was Parker's turn – but he dented OKC for 10 fourth-quarter points, including eight in the final four minutes, when the Thunder tried to stage a desperate comeback. Harden had most of the duties and did a decent job.

Defending Duncan: B. Spurs superstar Tim Duncan again struggled against the Thunder big men. Duncan made just two of 11 shots after going 6-of-15 in Game 1. Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka continually frustrated Duncan, though he remained strong on the boards with 12 rebounds. Still, the Thunder big men have to do a better job helping out on the pick-and-roll.