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OKC Thunder: Report card

Quite a victory for the Thunder, a 104-98 elimination of the Clippers on Thursday night. But it didn’t come easily, and the grades reflect it.
by Berry Tramel Modified: May 16, 2014 at 12:51 am •  Published: May 15, 2014


photo - Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant (35) fouls Los Angeles' Matt Barnes (22) during Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals in the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Thursday, May 15, 2014. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant (35) fouls Los Angeles' Matt Barnes (22) during Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals in the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Thursday, May 15, 2014. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

A Celebrity watch

Clipper standards Penny Marshall and Billy Crystal were in attendance. But Laker zealot Jack Nicholson sat courtside, so you know this was a big game. Rihanna was back, this time with pink hair. Oscar De La Hoya made the Kiss Cam. Tony Romo and Matt Damon showed up. David Hasselhoff participated in a timeout trampoline routine. And former Clipper Eric Gordon, traded to New Orleans in the deal that brought Chris Paul, sat on the baseline, much to the delight of a Clipper fan on the fourth row wearing a No. 10 Gordon Clipper jersey. But the best sighting was Jaleel White, who you will know better as Steve Urkel from “Family Matters.” White still can pass for Urkel, a character he hasn’t played in 16 years.

B Brooks rotations

Scotty Brooks again had to juggle his lineup, due to foul trouble. Brooks found a winning fivesome with Durant, Westbrook, Nick Collison, Steven Adams and Reggie Jackson. But Brooks struggled in the first half, playing Derek Fisher 13:23 and Thabo Sefolosha just 6:26. Sefolosha had five points in the first 31/2 minutes but played just 12 minutes total. Meanwhile, Fisher, after sinking his first two shots in the second quarter, missed five straight in a span of 7:07, including two air balls on 3-point shots, squelching some hard-earned momentum.

B Durant mid-range

A game after going 0-of-11 on shots outside the restricted but inside the 3-point circle, Kevin Durant again struggled early with his mid-range game. Durant made just one of six mid-range shots in the first half. But Durant warmed up in the second half and made four of six.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
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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