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Thunder report card: Offense down the stretch gets an A

How the Thunder and its followers fared during Game 1 of the NBA playoffs' first round.
by Berry Tramel Published: April 28, 2012

REVELRY: A. This wasn't like the Laker series two years ago, when the crowd was yelling like banshees 20 minutes before tipoff. But the blue-shirted mob got loud quickly. And their pals outside showed up, too, with a street party on Thunder Alley watching the game on a big screen.

JAMES HARDEN: B. Hard to be too tough on Harden, who had 19 points on just seven points and was the Thunder's only aggressor for much of the game. But Harden also had five of the Thunder's below-average 14 turnovers. Protect the ball a little, and Harden will be dominating.

NATIONAL ANTHEM: A. Excellent rendition by Rob Clay.

DEFENDING DIRK: B. Brooks threw Ibaka and Nick Collison at the Mavs' All-Star before going to Perkins late. The Thunder was effective early, but Nowitzki got hot late, plus he got 10 foul shots. That's too many.