Thunder report card: An 'A' for defending Zach Randolph, responding to pressure

BY BERRY TRAMEL, Staff Writer, btramel@opubco.com Published: May 15, 2011

Game 7 pressure: A. Let's see. Russell Westbrook, triple double. Kevin Durant, 39 points on 13-of-25 shooting. James Harden, 17 points and missing only four shots. Among the Thunder pups, only Serge Ibaka played south of great, and Nick Collison's play more than made up for that.

Managing momentum: A. The Grizzlies never scored more than five straight points and only did that in the first six minutes and the last two minutes. Meanwhile, the Thunder had runs of six, nine, seven and seven points. And Thabo Sefolosha made a huge steal-and-dunk, providing the Thunder's only basket the first 3 1/2 minutes of the third quarter.

Defending Randolph: A. Zach Randolph's 6-of-15 shooting, 40 percent, personified his series. In seven games, Randolph made 52 of 128 shots, 40.6 percent. Sunday, Randolph scored only once at the basket. The rest came on jump shots. Nick Collison will infiltrate Randolph's dreams this offseason.

National anthem: A. Gospel star Sandi Patty delivered a rousing rendition, including some seldom-heard wrinkles into high notes.

B Team: B. With O.J. Mayo starting, the Grizzlies' bench figured to be short-handed. But the Thunder reserves played together for 4:08 in the second quarter and lost a point off a 21-17 lead. In the fourth quarter, the reserves played together for 3:11 and extended a 14-point lead to 78-62.

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