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Thunder report card: B for Serge Ibaka's defense, A for Kevin Durant

Thunder Report Card: How someone who guarded Dirk Nowitzki still made the grade
By BERRY TRAMEL, Columnist, btramel@opubco.com Modified: May 18, 2011 at 12:14 am •  Published: May 17, 2011
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/articleid/3569057/1/pictures/1420762">Photo - Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant (35) goes past Dirk Nowitzki (41) of Dallas during game 1 of the Western Conference Finals in the NBA basketball playoffs between the Dallas Mavericks and the Oklahoma City Thunder at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Tuesday, May 17, 2011. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant (35) goes past Dirk Nowitzki (41) of Dallas during game 1 of the Western Conference Finals in the NBA basketball playoffs between the Dallas Mavericks and the Oklahoma City Thunder at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Tuesday, May 17, 2011. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

Nate Robinson experiment: F. Brooks' use of Robinson for 5:41 in the fourth quarter smacked of panic. J.J. Barea repeatedly drove past Robinson for easy baskets, and Robinson missed badly on all three of his shots. Can we finally end this three-month speculation that Robinson could be some kind of spark?

Perimeter shooting: B. Thunder made seven of 14 3-pointers, not counting the two misses by Robinson. That bested the vaunted Mavs' 9-of-23.

Defending non-Dirks: C. Mavs not named Nowitzki made 27 of 58 shots, 46.5 percent. The Thunder must do better, or the Mavs will stay over 50 percent.

Resiliency: A. The Thunder looked in serious trouble early but quickly rallied to stabilize the game. Then when the game seemed over, Dallas up 99-83 with nine minutes left, the Thunder rallied again, twice cutting the lead to five and got within 116-110 with 48 seconds left.

By Berry Tramel


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