OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Derek Fisher get high marks
Here is a look at Berry Tramel's report card off Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals:
Kevin Durant's durability: A. Durant played all 48 minutes. The Thunder needed all 48. Durant produced a monster game, 34 points and 14 rebounds, with five assists, four in the second half. The elder Spurs looked out of gas by game's end, and Durant still was going strong.
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First-quarter defense: F. The Spurs made 14 of their first 20 shots and scored 34 points in the first 10:17 of the game. And it all came out of offensive execution. In the first quarter, the Spurs had no fast-break points and just two second-chance points.
Second-half defense: A. Those same Spurs made just 13 of 40 shots after halftime. Tony Parker, who started the game 7-of-9 shooting, made just five of his last 18 shots. Thabo Sefolosha, Russell Westbrook and Derek Fisher all took turns on Parker, who had just two second-half assists.
Russell Westbrook: A. Westbrook didn't play perfect. Five more turnovers. A couple of wild shots. But his fangs grew longer the deeper the game went, with pinpoint passing and determined defense and relentless effort. Westbrook finished with 23 points, eight rebounds and five assists. But the play that defines Westbrook was a missed foul shot, after his basket gave the Thunder a 101-95 lead with 2:46 left. Westbrook rebounded his own miss and allowed OKC to run more time off the clock.
Defending Duncan: C. Good thing the series is over. The ageless Tim Duncan got better and better, including a 25-point, 14-rebound performance in Game 6. Duncan's scoring by quarters: six, seven, six, six. But Kendrick Perkins came to the rescue late. After Duncan scored two straight possessions against Serge Ibaka, Scotty Brooks got Perk back into the game. Duncan got two foul shots with 2:58 left but only one other shot – a block by Perkins with the Thunder up four and 50 seconds left in the game.
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