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Thunder report card: 'A' for start, 'F' for finish

BY BERRY TRAMEL, Columnist, btramel@opubco.com Published: May 24, 2011
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/articleid/3570889/1/pictures/1425454">Photo - Oklahoma City's Thabo Sefolosha (2) and Kevin Durant (35) defend Shawn Marion (0) of Dallas  during game 4 of the Western Conference Finals in the NBA basketball playoffs between the Dallas Mavericks and the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Oklahoma City Arena in downtown Oklahoma City, Monday, May 23, 2011. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Thabo Sefolosha (2) and Kevin Durant (35) defend Shawn Marion (0) of Dallas during game 4 of the Western Conference Finals in the NBA basketball playoffs between the Dallas Mavericks and the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Oklahoma City Arena in downtown Oklahoma City, Monday, May 23, 2011. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

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.


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