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Thunder-Spurs: Oklahoma City's final grades reflect Spurs' second-chance dominance in Game 6

REPORT CARD — San Antonio’s second-chance points and ability to exploit OKC’s switching strategy spoiled an otherwise strong defensive game.
by Berry Tramel Published: May 31, 2014

INTERIOR DEFENSE: A. The Thunder gave up 52 points in the paint, counting eight points off foul shots. But the Thunder didn’t allow them easily. The Spurs made just 22 of 48 shots in the paint, and several of those baskets were off offensive rebounds. Serge Ibaka blocked four shots and Kevin Durant three.

BALL SECURITY: D. The Thunder committed 20 turnovers, against a team that is not built to force turnovers. The Thunder had averaged just 13.2 turnovers in the series. But the Thunder got careless in Game 6. Durant and Westbrook each had seven. Durant alone had five turnovers in the third quarter. Westbrook had three in the fourth quarter. The Spurs scored 33 points off turnovers. The Thunder was better in overtime, when it did not commit a turnover.

DEALING WITH FOUL TROUBLE: C. Foul trouble reared its head in the third quarter. Westbrook committed his fourth foul with 4:10 left in the third quarter and had to sit the rest of the quarter. Jackson committed his fourth with 3:22 left in the third period. Scotty Brooks sat Westbrook the rest of the quarter, and the roof collapsed on OKC. A 63-62 lead became a 69-79 deficit. But Jackson played virtually the entire fourth quarter and overtime while dealing with foul trouble.

BENCH: C. Thunder reserves scored only five points – Derek Fisher hit an 18-footer with 1:30 left in the third quarter and a 3-pointer midway through the fourth quarter. But the Thunder bench played some decent defense. Steven Adams was not effective in his 12 minutes, but Fisher guarded Manu Ginobili much of the game and did excellent work. Ginobili made just four of 14 shots, after torching the Thunder in multiple earlier games. And Brooks shortened his bench – Caron Butler did not play at all, and only eight Boomers played more than 2:15.

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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