The Thunder trailed the Clippers by double digits the final 36 1/2 minutes of the game. Hard to have good grades after a performance like that, and the Thunder didn’t.
3-point defense: D
The Clippers made 15 of 29 3-pointers, reviving a Thunder problem from late in the regular season, but this was more of a Chris Paul problem than a total Clipper problem. Paul hit eight of nine 3-pointers; his teammates made seven of 20. That latter total is acceptable. The former is not.
Nick Collison bulled in for two baskets early in the second quarter. The Thunder had no other bench points until the fourth quarter. Reggie Jackson finished with four points, all in the final 2:28. Caron Butler had three points. Derek Fisher had four points, all in the final 5 1/2 minutes. And it’s not like any of them were playing defense, either. Scotty Brooks started his full B Team in the second quarter, but he had to get Durant back on the court 2 1/2 minutes later, after the Thunder missed five of its first six shots. The final 10:40 of the game, both teams went strictly reserves; OKC won that JV game, 24-15.
Battling Blake: B
The Thunder did a decent job against Blake Griffin. The Clipper All-Star had 23 points and five rebounds. His Thunder counterpart, Serge Ibaka, had 12 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots. But the Thunder did not do a good job of challenging Griffin, who was in frequent foul trouble in the Golden State series. Griffin didn’t get his first foul Monday night until the final three seconds of the first half. Ibaka had seven shots in the first seven minutes; his dunk with 5:19 left forged an 18-18 tie and gave him eight points. But that was the last time OKC was so much as even with the Clippers, and Ibaka had just two shots the final 41 minutes.
Leveraging foul trouble: D