Start: A. So much for the idea that the Thunder can't get off to a good start with Kendrick Perkins and Thabo Sefolosha in the lineup. The Thunder spurted to a 26-15 lead before Scotty Brooks substituted. By that time, Perkins and Sefolosha had combined for six points, two rebounds, two assists, one steal and one blocked shot.
Finish: F. The Thunder led 99-84 with 4:49 left. From then until the end of regulation, it got just two stops — a Russell Westbrook steal and a Sefolosha block — and scored just two points, on a Westbrook jumper.
Overtime: C. Believe it or not, the Thunder didn't stink in overtime. At least not defensively. The Thunder got three stops, including two it absolutely had to have. But the offensive malaise was too much to overcome. OKC's only overtime points came on baskets by Sefolosha and Serge Ibaka.
Game-winning play: F. Really? Throw it to Kevin Durant 40 feet from the basket with four seconds left? Really?
Defending Dirk: C. Nowitzki had 22 first-half points, thanks to a bunch of friendly whistles circa Game 1. But most of the second half, the Thunder held him in check, thanks to Ibaka and Nick Collison. Nowitzki had just four points the first 19 minutes of the second half. Then he scored 14 points in less than five minutes while not missing a shot.
Rebounding: B. The Thunder dominated the boards. Out-rebounded the Mavs 62-40, outscored the Mavs 24-12 in second-chance points. But the Thunder got only one offensive rebound the final 10 minutes, despite missing 13 shots.
Stars in crunchtime: D. Durant and Westbrook had awful numbers the final 10 minutes. Durant was 0-of-6 shooting with two rebounds, one assist and two turnovers. Westbrook was 1-of-5 with two rebounds, one assist, two turnovers. And it's not like anyone in Thunder white was making defensive stops.
Serge Ibaka/Nick Collison combination: B. Brooks found a winning combo by playing these guys together. Collison on Nowitzki allowed Ibaka to roam free, and he responded with five blocked shots and a very good offensive game (18 points). Collison was his usual effective self (12 points, seven rebounds). But they were on the court together during the late meltdown.
Ball security: F. Twenty-five turnovers is ridiculous; 24 came in regulation. Durant had nine, Westbrook six and Harden four.
Bench: C. Outside of Collison, the Thunder backups didn't assert themselves. Harden had just seven points in 23 minutes. Eric Maynor was largely ineffective. Daequan Cook didn't get a shot off in his 51/2 minutes. But maybe Harden's value was abstract; when he fouled out with 4:34 left, the Thunder led 99-87.