The report card from Game 2 of the first-round playoff series vs. Dallas:
Pick'n roll offense: C. Serge Ibaka, who scored 22 points in Game 1, got just two shots and scored only two points. The Mavs played the screens well, though Russell Westbrook and James Harden made them pay on occasion.
Defense on Dirk: B. The Kendrick Perkins-on-Dirk Nowitzki trial finally ran out of steam. Nowitzki got hot, the Thunder fouled him too much (11 of 11 at the line) and the result was 31 points on 19 shots. But Perkins D'd up on Nowitzki in the final minute, forcing him into a tough fallaway that bounced off with the Thunder up 98-97.
Defense on Jet: A. Counting the fourth quarter of Game 1, Thunder-killer Jason Terry went almost three quarters without scoring. His first basket Monday came with 32 seconds left before halftime. Nothing much came easy for Terry, with Russell Westbrook supplying most of the coverage.
Oddball lineup: A. Scotty Brooks had used the lineup of Serge Ibaka, James Harden, Derek Fisher and Daequan Cook only 39 seconds all season. Three possessions total. But Brooks sent out those five with 1:34 left in the first quarter, and the Thunder trailing 24-23. They promptly produced a 9-0 run, with all but Ibaka scoring. The lineup stayed until the 8:19 mark of the second quarter and exited with a 36-27 lead.
Fan comfort: D. The T-shirts waiting on every seat create a great scene, a whiteout or a blueout. But put an extra piece of clothing over what you're already wearing, and it gets a little stuffy. Fans alternated clapping and fanning. Hey, Mayor Mick, turn on the air-conditioning.
Aggression: B. The Thunder offense in the second half consisted mostly of attacking the basket, which is always good. But part of good aggression is not when to not be aggressive. The Thunder committed way too many fouls (28 total), including six in the first 3:45 of the third quarter, putting the Mavs in the bonus ridiculously early.
National anthem: A. The Thunder pulled out a heavy hitter, Philip Bailey, a 40-year member of the classic rock band Earth, Wind & Fire. He sang a unique, high-pitched version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” that had the crowd cheering.
Fixing bugaboos: C. Dallas exploited the Thunder's weaknesses — ball security and rebounding opponents' shots. The Thunder committed 16 turnovers, leading to 16 Dallas points. And the Mavs had 12 offensive rebounds, outscoring OKC 17-6 on second-chance points.