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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
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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.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
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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