Perimeter defense: B. The Thunder shut down Tony Parker and Danny Green, who had hurt them extensively in the first two games. Green made just three of 12 shots, and just two of his six 3-pointers. Parker scored just nine points and had as many turnovers (four) as assists. Jackson stayed with Green on the perimeter, and Westbrook accepted the challenge of staying in front of Parker. The only downer was that the Thunder let Manu Ginobili get loose far too often in the second quarter. Ginobili sank three 3-pointers in the final 2:02 of the first half, keeping the Spurs close. He had 20 first-half points but scored only three in the second half.
Ball security: C. The Thunder had 18 turnovers. Seven of the OKC turnovers came in the first quarter and five in the second quarter. That led to 14 San Antonio points in the first half. The good thing was, the turnovers weren’t of the live ball variety – the Spurs had just six steals in the game.
Dealing with foul trouble: A. Kendrick Perkins got three fouls in the first quarter and had to sit the rest of the half. Durant got his second foul 2:20 into the second quarter. But the Thunder dealt with both issues well. Durant continued to play aggressively, though smart, and didn’t get his third foul until the fourth quarter. Kawhi Leonard again was not much of an offensive factor for the Spurs, scoring just 10 points on 4-of-11 shooting. Meanwhile, Steven Adams again played well in Perk’s stead. Tim Duncan made just four of 10 shots with Perkins on the court but wasn’t much better (three of seven) with Adams on the court. Duncan finished with eight rebounds and 16 points on 7-of-17 shooting.