Star power: B. A music city like Memphis can draw some well-known acts. And so it did Thursday. Larry Dodson and the Bar-Kays, a renowned blues group from the 1960s through the 1980s, sang the national anthem. And Tag Team, the one-hit wonder hip-hop duo from the 1990s, performed at halftime that solitary hit, “Whoomp.” You might not think you know it, but you do. Not exactly Oklahoma City’s taste, but both played well to the Grizzlies fans.
Grit: A. A thousand things to shake your head about in this game. But give the Thunder this. This team doesn’t quit. Down 17 with 71/2 minutes left, down four with 30 seconds left in regulation, even down four with 1.7 seconds left in overtime. The Thunder doesn’t quit. Grind? OK, that’s Memphis’ domain. But grit? The Thunder has grit.
Bench: F. The Thunder reserves have gone vamoose. They combined for just nine points on 4-of-18 shooting. Only Nick Collison played well. Caron Butler and Reggie Jackson were ineffective for the second straight game. The plus/minuses were ugly – OKC was outscored by 13 during Butler’s 22 minutes, by 10 during Jackson’s 181/2 minutes, by 10 during Collison’s 161/2 minutes and by eight during Derek Fisher’s 151/2 minutes.