The Spurs outscored the Thunder 85-57 over the final three quarters to post a 117-89 blowout in Game 5 Thursday night, and the grades reflect such domination.
First-half defense: F. The Spurs scored on 14 of their 24 possessions in the first quarter. Then they scored on 14 of their 24 possessions in the second quarter. OKC allowed 32 points in the first quarter, 33 points in the second quarter. That’s 1.35 points per possession, which is get-blown-out basketball. The Spurs got in the paint and made 14 of 19 shots. They made eight of 14 3-pointers. They did about anything they wanted to do.
Third-quarter offense: D. Down 10 points at halftime and its defense full of holes, the Thunder offense had to sustain its excellent first-half performance. The Thunder did not. OKC scored just 19 points in 24 possessions and made just seven of 19 shots, including 0-of-6 on 3-pointers.
Defending Duncan: D. Old Man Riverwalk turned back the clock — to Game 1, when Tim Duncan was dominant. Duncan was excellent, making eight of 13 shots with 12 rebounds, all through three quarters. Neither Kendrick Perkins nor Steven Adams was effective, after holding down Duncan three straight games. Duncan scored 12 points with Perk on the court, making five of seven shots. Duncan scored 10 points with Adams on the court, making three of six shots.
Halftime act: A. The Amazing Sladek is a silver-haired acrobat who on a table stacks six chairs on top of each other, building himself a ladder as he goes, and completes the stunt with a handstand atop the highest chair. Then he climbs down tossing a chair as he goes. It’s one of the most tense acts that make the NBA circuit. Sladek will fall some day; hope it’s not at a Thunder game.
Star power: B. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant played well. Even defensively, for the most part. Tony Parker was among the least effective Spurs; he finished with 12 points and four assists on 6-of-13 shooting, with Westbrook the primary defender. Westbrook had 21 points on 6-of-12 shooting, seven assists and three steals. Durant had 25 points on 11-of-21 shooting.
Reggie Jackson: C. Jackson appeared headed for a huge game, making his first five shots and scoring 11 points in the game’s first 8:35. But Jackson didn’t score again. Worse yet, Jackson’s defense collapsed. Manu Ginobili lit up Jackson for nine points on 4-of-4 shooting in the second quarter alone, with a series of drives to the hoop. Jackson’s defense in the third quarter improved, but it was too late.
Bench: D. Through three quarters, the Spurs’ bench had outscored the Thunder’s 40-13. Even the final nine minutes, when Scotty Brooks surrendered, the Spurs’ deep reserves outclassed OKC’s deep reserves, 16-13. Starting Reggie Jackson has paid dividends but clearly has cost the Thunder in depth.
Running game: D. The Thunder has the young legs. But the Spurs won the race. They outscored the Thunder 14-4 in fast breaks, and that wasn’t a fourth quarter phenomenon. It was 12-4 through three quarters. The Spurs made five of eight shots in transition, which included 3-pointers by Danny Green and Ginobili. The Thunder’s defensive collapse kept its running game in shackles. OKC scored just 10 points off turnovers.