Oklahoma City Thunder: Game 3 report card

Game 3 of Thunder-Grizzlies was a remarkable repeat of Game 2, down to a vaunted Thunder rally sparked by a four-point play and overtime domination by Memphis. And the grades reflect the Thunder’s game-long struggles.
by Berry Tramel Published: April 24, 2014
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photo - Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant (35) slams the ball down as Memphis fans celebrate a Memphis basket during Game 3 in the first round of the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn., Thursday, April 24, 2014. Memphis won 98-95. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant (35) slams the ball down as Memphis fans celebrate a Memphis basket during Game 3 in the first round of the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn., Thursday, April 24, 2014. Memphis won 98-95. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

Game 3 of Thunder-Grizzlies was a remarkable repeat of Game 2, down to a vaunted Thunder rally sparked by a four-point play and overtime domination by Memphis. And the grades reflect the Thunder’s game-long struggles.

Outside shooting: F. The Thunder shot an horrific five of 28 from 3-point range, but that wasn’t the half of it. The Thunder wasn’t making outside shots of any length. OKC missed its first 15 shots from beyond 10 feet; eight of those were 3-pointers. For the game, the Thunder made just nine of 43 shots outside 10 feet, helped by 5-of-28 from 3-point range.

Defensive specialists: A. Thabo Sefolosha and Kendrick Perkins were excellent. The Thunder outscored Memphis by 12 in Thabo’s 301/2 minutes on the court and outscored the Grizzlies by nine in Perkins’ 34 minutes. Perkins was the primary defender on Zach Randolph, who made just five of 20 shots. Thabo drew the assignment on Mike Conley, who started slowly on offense, though he picked it up late. And each scored seven points, combining to make five of six shots, which is a big bonus for OKC.

Towel effect: B. The Grizzlies prefer yellow towels for each seat over T-shirts. And it’s not a bad idea. The shirts make for a cool scene, but it’s not all that convenient for fans who have to wear an extra layer in a hot arena. The towels can be a great scene, too, if they’re waved in unison. But the full wave didn’t happen all that much, even when the Grizzlies were on a roll.

Foul shooting: C. The Thunder made 22 of 30, 73.3 percent, which isn’t awful. But Kevin Durant made just 10 of 13 and Russell Westbrook eight of 12, both well below their standards. Westbrook’s penultimate miss ended all hope – down four points with 0.9 seconds left in overtime, Westbrook was awarded three foul shots. He wanted to make the first two and miss the second, but when the second bounced off, the Thunder was done.

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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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