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Thunder report card: An ‘A' for resiliency, a ‘D' for coaching

By Berry Tramel Published: May 10, 2011

Resiliency: A

Down 18 points in the second quarter, after a Game 3 meltdown, the Thunder season looked on life support. But like this team has done most of the season, it stayed tough. Even after frittering away almost-certain victory at the end of regulation and the first overtime, the Thunder came back strong.

James Harden playmaking: A

The Thunder had just six assists through three quarters, but Harden had four in a five-minute stretch of the fourth quarter, three of which led to dunks. Harden finished with a game-high seven assists.

Coaching: D

Scotty Brooks didn't have his team ready to play in the first quarter. Then Brooks fell in love with Daequan Cook to the point he played the first 11:11 of the fourth quarter, including a full minute after OKC had a seven-point lead with 1:56 left in the game. By the way, shooting specialist Cook didn't score for 39 1/2 minutes, until foul shots with 14 seconds left in the third overtime.

Post defense: A

Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol hurt the Thunder with a combined 60 points and 37 rebounds, but after a torrid start, baskets were harder to find. Gasol made 11 of 20 shots, but Randolph was 9-of-25. Serge Ibaka was ineffective and played just 16:51, but Nick Collison, Kendrick Perkins and Nazr Mohammed all took turns banging with the Memphis big men.

Russell Westbrook: A

The most scrutinized player in the NBA playoffs wasn't perfect. He missed 18 shots, some of which were iffy. But in 51 1/2 minutes, Westbrook scored 40 points and had just three turnovers, even though the ball was in his hands a bunch. In the second overtime, Westbrook three times took shots with the Thunder trailing. He made all three to give OKC a tie or the lead, the latter a jumper with 30.8 seconds left to forge a 119-119 tie.

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