2013 NBA Playoffs: Thunder vs Rockets, OKC player grades for game 4

J.A. Sherman

The Thunder had a chance to sweep but came a lay-up short, losing to Houston 105-103. How did each Thunder player do?

The Thunder lost a heartbreaking game 4 in Houston, falling to the Rockets 105-103. OKC had a chance to tie in the end, but Reggie Jackson and Serge Ibaka could not convert their shots, and so we head back to OKC for game 5.

How did each Thunder player do?

Game 4's graders are Jack from The Pack and Ramona.

***

KEVIN DURANT

38 points on 12-16 shooting, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 7 turnovers


Grade Comments
Ramona Grade_aplus_medium Kid Clutch. KD reminds us just how special he is in the absence of Westbrook. He has stepped up his game (if that's possible) and played a complete game with passion and heart.
Jack Grade_aplus_medium
He did everything you could have asked of him. He had 38 points on 16 shots. He also led the team in rebounds and assists. He again shouldered most of the ball handling and did a very good job. Basically without Durant the Thunder wouldn’t have a chance.

SERGE IBAKA

8 points on 3-8 shooting, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks, 2 turnovers


Grade Comments
Ramona Grade_bminus_medium I'm not sure what happens to Ibaka during the middle of games. He had a strong beginning and a strong ending, but he recorded 34 minutes on the floor. Here is an area the Thunder can improve: more touches for Serge.
Jack Grade_d_medium
Forget the fact that he missed a point blank layup to send the game into overtime, he played an awful overall game. Serge had 8 points on 8 shots with a -17 plus/minus. He has to be good for the Thunder to win games.

REGGIE JACKSON

18 points on 7-18 shooting, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, 2 turnovers


Grade Comments
Ramona Grade_aplus_medium We can't ask Jackson to play any better. He grows in confidence with every game. I liked his leadership on the floor, consoling Durant (as it was reported by Grant Long) after that last charging foul and reminding him and his teammates that they need only one stop.
Jack Grade_bplus_medium
He looked comfortable for the most part as he finished with 18 points. He was able to shoulder the ball-handling role when he was in there to take some burden off KD. But he also took more shots (18) than Kevin did.

THABO SEFOLOSHA

5 points on 2-5 shooting, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 turnover


Grade Comments
Ramona Grade_aplus_medium Big stop at 53.7 seconds to go in the game. Thabo played excellent defense on James Harden, especially down the stretch. He had an all-star defensive performance.
Jack Grade_d_medium He wasn’t very good tonight in the sense that he struggled to score and looked lost at times. He did keep James harden to 15 points, but he was still not very good tonight as he managed a team worse -19 plus/minus.

KENDRICK PERKINS

0 points in 9 minutes, 4 turnovers


Grade Comments
Ramona Grade_d_medium This is not the series for Perk. He is really valuable to the team, but he had the one positive stat: one rebound. The turnovers and the senseless fouls are my best arguments that he should sit this one out.
Jack Grade_dminus_medium
Would normally give him an F, but I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. He played only 9 minutes and had a -17 plus/minus while committing 4 turnovers. The game is too quick for Perkins, as he isn’t able to keep up.

KEVIN MARTIN

16 points on 5-11 shooting, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 3 turnovers


Grade Comments
Ramona Grade_a_medium
Martin's defense seemed to get him going. He picked up his intensity. Offensively, he was crafty, driving aggressively to the basket, and knocking down shots. We're going to need this from him every night.
Jack Grade_b_medium
He played pretty well with 16 points and a +13 plus/minus. I only gave him a B because without Westbrook there is more required from him and at times in game 4 he sunk into the background. But overall it was a solid performance for Martin.

DEREK FISHER

12 points on 4-7 shooting, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover


Grade Comments
Ramona Grade_aplus_medium Another complete game from Fisher. We have come to expect his clutch 3-point shooting, but he is tough on defense. He got the + from me for hustle plays, like getting back on a Houston fastbreak to wrap up Asik before he could finish play.
Jack Grade_aplus_medium Fisher did everything you could ever ask of a 38 year old backup point guard tonight. He went 4-5 from 3 and finished with 12 points. He struggles matching up defensively with the rockets but when he is shooting the way he is, he is worth hiding on defense.

NICK COLLISON

3 points on 1-4 shooting, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks


Grade Comments
Ramona Grade_b_medium Good things happen when Nick is on the floor. He didn't get many minutes, but he is solid when called upon. His hands were active with the steal, two blocked shots, and two of his six rebounds were offensive.
Jack Grade_b_medium Nick played pretty well for the most part, he did what Nick always does by playing hard and rebounding. He did only go 1-4 from the field, so he didn’t have his best shooting night but as always was tied for the team high plus/minus.

DeANDRE LIGGINS

3 points on 1-2 shooting, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 0 turnovers


Grade Comments
Ramona Grade_b_medium Here is another area the Thunder can improve by reassigning duties for Liggins. Rotation is tight, I know. Liggins is normally in to relieve Thabo on Harden, but the Thunder could use some pressure on the ball at times. Liggins could provide that pressure.
Jack Grade_bplus_medium He played pretty well in his 14 minutes. His minutes were up in game 4 as he hit a 3 pointer. Liggins always plays good defense and he did that again tonight. He also contributed 5 rebounds for the team.

SCOTT BROOKS


Grade Comments
Ramona Grade_b_medium Rotation was good. The game plan looked good. He cut Perk's minutes to under 10 and still, I think he can cut more.
Jack Grade_bminus_medium
Scott Brooks made some mistakes in game 4, but did a good job for the most part. I thought he did a good job juggling Derrick Fisher, playing him just enough but not too much. He did however leave Kendrick in for too long at the start of the third quarter when the Rockets began their push.
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