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Thunder-Lakers Game 3 report card: Kendrick Perkins gets an 'A', composure a 'B'

Staff Writer Berry Tramel hands out grades for the Lakers' 99-96 victory over Thunder
by Berry Tramel Published: May 19, 2012

Defending point guards: D. Ramon Sessions, who has had a miserable series, was the last Laker the Thunder needed to worry about. But Sessions started the game aggressive and attacked the basket. He finished with 12 points, making five of nine shots. And Westbrook let Steve Blake get loose for a bank shot and a 3-pointer on consecutive possessions to give the Lakers an 83-83 tie. Blake scored 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting.

Message sending: A. Westbrook played poorly to start the game, particularly on transition defense. So Scotty Brooks sent a quick message. Westbrook sat out the final 6:01 of the first quarter. When Westbrook returned, he was much better.

Small lineup: B. Against the Lakers, Brooks hasn't used the small-ball lineup he likes so much. LA is just too big. But it was effective at a crucial time in Game 3. Down 16-4, Brooks went with a lineup of Durant, Perkins, Sefolosha, Fisher and Harden. It helped stymie the Laker momentum, and the Thunder was within 21-13 when Brooks returned to a conventional lineup five minutes later.