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Thunder-Clippers Report Card: OKC handles emotions of historic night

Routed in Game 1, the Thunder repaid the favor, roaring to a 20-point lead in the third quarter and breezing to a 112-101 victory. The grades reflect such a dominating victory.
by Berry Tramel Published: May 8, 2014
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Routed in Game 1, the Thunder repaid the favor, roaring to a 20-point lead in the third quarter and breezing to a 112-101 victory. The grades reflect such a dominating victory:

Starting lineup: A. The beleaguered starting unit was fantastic for the Thunder. OKC had a 22-18 lead when Scotty Brooks made his first substitution. And in the third quarter, Brooks went with his starting five the first 9:23, during which the Thunder outscored the Clippers 29-17. Thabo Sefolosha and Kendrick Perkins were superb. Perkins’ plus-minus was plus-18.

Handling emotions: A. Another emotional day for Kevin Durant, who in a pregame ceremony was handed the MVP trophy by commissioner Adam Silver. And Durant handled it famously. He scored baskets on OKC’s first two possessions and zipped to 17 first-quarter points. And Russell Westbrook didn’t get caught up in the emotions of the game, either, despite a shaky stretch in the second quarter. Both finished with monster games.

Dignitaries: A. For the corporate crowd, NBA commissioner Adam Silver attended the game and presented the MVP trophy to Kevin Durant. For the quirky crowd, NBA superfan Jimmy Goldstein and his leather jacket sat courtside. So did Durant agent Jay Z, for the hip-hop crowd. But on the front row along the baseline, three seats from Thunder chairman Clay Bennett, sat Troy Aikman, wearing a blue Thunder T-shirt, for the Oklahoma crowd.

Reggie Jackson: D. Let’s be honest. As goes Jackson, so goes the Thunder bench. And for the second straight game, Jackson struggled. He had as many turnovers (three) as baskets (two) and assists combined (one), playing just 12:48. The Thunder finished with just 13 bench points. The Clippers had 33.

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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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