Thunder-Spurs Report Card: Thunder defense, bench can't keep up in Game 5

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.
by Berry Tramel Published: May 29, 2014

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.

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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