Oklahoma City Thunder report card: Game 1 grades reflect OKC's troubles

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.
Oklahoman Published: May 6, 2014

L.A.’s Matt Barnes, who was assigned to Kevin Durant, picked up his second foul with 2:11 left in the first quarter. DeAndre Jordan got his second foul 35 seconds later. But Barnes didn’t get his third foul until 7:28 remained in the third quarter, by which time the Clippers led 83-58. Jordan didn’t get his third foul until 3:52 left in the third quarter, when the Clippers were up 93-68. And Paul got his third foul in the final two minutes of the first half. He never got another.

Thunder stars: B

The offensive numbers of Durant and Russell Westbrook were more than acceptable. Westbrook made nine of 14 shots to finish with 29 points, and Durant made nine of 19 shots for 25 points. Each had four assists and four rebounds. But Westbrook had six turnovers and consistently had defensive trouble, either losing his man because of risk-taking or just getting lost. Durant had three turnovers.

Defending Lob City: C

Stopping the Clipper big men from rolling to the basket for alley-oop dunks is key in this series. The Thunder did a good job early. In the first half, DeAndre Jordan got loose for a dunk, and Griffin got fouled on what would have been a dunk. But with L.A.’s 3-point barrage, the Thunder couldn’t suck in so much. Jordan got loose for two dunks early in the third quarter, and Griffin got one late in that period.

Boardin’ Jordan: B

Scotty Brooks ordered intentional fouls on Jordan, a shaky foul shooter, on four straight Clipper possessions in the third quarter, starting with 4:02 left and the Clippers up 93-68. Jordan cooperated, making just one of the eight foul shots. But the Clippers rebounded one of the misses and got two foul shots from Griffin. When Brooks fled the strategy, the Clippers’ 25-point lead had been trimmed to 22.

by Berry Tramel
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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