Game 5 grades: Russell Westbrook leads the way, Kevin Durant catches up in the end

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Westbrook was a house of fire and gave the Thunder a shot to win in the end that they didn't deserve. Here is how the rest of the Thunder stacked up in a huge game 5 win.

For much of game 5, the Thunder struggled to keep up with a Clippers team that seemed to find its offensive groove once again. OKC would have fallen apart had not the mercurial Russell Westbrook stepped in and made play after play. Here is how he performed and how his teammates stepped up when the game mattered most.

Game 1 grades

Game 2 grades

Game 3 grades

***

Durant_medium

KEVIN DURANT GRADE MIN PTS REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Game stats)
42 27 10 5 1 1 2 +2
JUAN Grade_b_medium
The entire game, I kept waiting for Kevin Durant to go 5-6 from the floor or something like that, but that never came, and I kept thinking "dammit, he's playing so bad" but then I found myself looking at the box score and Kevin Durant finished with 27-10-5. That's pretty incredible for a guy that had a "bad" game. One thing Durant did do, however, was make timely buckets during that ridiculous comeback. His three-pointer over Glen Davis started the run in the final minute and his euro-step layup cut the lead to 2 before, well, we all know what happened after that.
KEVIN Grade_bminus_medium Weird game, and some unholy combination of ugly and still kinda effective (hi, James Harden). KD had the points because he got to the line and sunk his free throws, but he was terrible in live-ball situations. You can blame Scott Brooks or spacing, but even with those factors in mind, Durant rarely has an off game like this from the field. Many of his shots were well-contested, but Durant can make those at a better rate than he did in Game 5. Still, he had the points and made contributions in other areas of the game too, so it wasn’t all bad. It just wasn’t great.

Westbrook_medium

RUSSELL WESTBROOK GRADE MIN PTS REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Game stats)
42 38 5 6 0 3 4 -8
JUAN Grade_aplus_medium
I thought people wanted to change the way this guy plays the game? Games like these are the exact reason why everyone that claims to be a Thunder fan always has Russell Westbrook's back. Durant didn't have a good shooting night, but luckily for the fans, OKC has another guy on the roster that can go ballistic and score 38 points and come up clutch with three go-ahead free-throws in a must-win situation. One thing that I must admit: I hated that last shot by Westbrook, but oh well!
KEVIN Grade_aplus_medium
On a night where Durant was really struggling with his shot, Westbrook took over and carried the team. I thought he was a bit out of control early (even by his standards), but being Westbrook, he channeled that into good stuff. He attacked, attacked and attacked. Good defense couldn’t stop him from getting to the rim, drawing fouls or sinking his patented pull-up jumper. He was sheer chaos at the end of the game, and there might not have been a crazy comeback win without him. So yeah, good stuff.
Sefolosha_medium

THABO SEFOLOSHA GRADE MIN PTS REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Game stats)
18 8 4 0 0 0 0 -6
JUAN Grade_bplus_medium
I think Thabo Sefolosha was really good in the few minutes that he got last night and I still believe he's the only guy aside from Westbrook and Durant who can keep up with Jamal Crawford. Oh, and he dunked on DeAndre Jordan, so that's fun.
KEVIN Grade_bminus_medium He didn’t play a whole lot and wasn’t spectacular, but he made good use of the minutes he saw. His posterization of DeAndre Jordan gets an A+.

Ibaka_medium

SERGE IBAKA GRADE MIN PTS REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Game Stats)
30 8 7 0 2 1 1 -1
JUAN Grade_cplus_medium
I think it's crazy that the Thunder won this game with Serge Ibaka playing this poorly and hesitant. It took a ridiculous comeback for that to happen, though. Ibaka needs to come out and dominate in game 6 without picking up fouls because we know the refs might be trying to make up for the end of game 5.
KEVIN Grade_bminus_medium Of course, Serge Ibaka had his moments on defense (I bumped him a full grade over his fourth quarter play, especially with the game-saving steal on the final possession). Unfortunately, foul trouble reared its head for the third straight games and limited him in the first half. When he was on the court, he was often tentative to act. To make a bad situation worse, his shots weren’t falling until late in the game. But hey, when it mattered most, it went fine.
Perk_medium

KENDRICK PERKINS GRADE MIN PTS REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Game Stats)
22 2 4 0 0 0 0 -6
JUAN Grade_cplus_medium
We had gotten a couple of nice Kendrick Perkins game, but last night wasn't one of them. Perk, can you please go up and dunk on Blake Griffin before this series ends? Or you can fight, either one works.
KEVIN Grade_cplus_medium
Nothing much to talk about here. Perk was unimpressive as Perk often is, but he wasn’t actively bad as he can sometimes be. This was Perk’s average, and there are moments and situations where that can be helpful.

Jackson_medium

REGGIE JACKSON GRADE MIN PTS REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Game Stats)
30 8 7 1 0 2 3 +14
JUAN Grade_bplus_medium
I think Reggie Jackson's defense was really good last night. He knocked down a couple of shots in the first half when the team needed a spark, so that was good. Then you have the 3-on-1 "fast break" at the end of the game that he decided to go for the layup instead of giving it up to KD or Westbrook. If that call would have gone the other way, we would probably be talking about why Reggie didn't pass it up. But like I said earlier.. oh well!
KEVIN Grade_bminus_medium

You’d really like to see more in 30 minutes on the court. He was solid on defense, but the lack of point production (especially with Durant struggling so much) isn’t ideal. There were also the three turnovers, which contributed to a team-wide problem with them tonight. Jackson was an important part of that late-game comeback, though, and his stat line looked even more barren before it.

Adams_medium

STEVEN ADAMS GRADE MIN PTS REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Game Stats)
23 9 4 1 2 0 0 +10
JUAN Grade_bminus_medium
I think Steven Adams has provided the same thing every game this series. A lot of effort, but the talent to guard Blake Griffin just isn't there right now. But he's playing extremely hard, and that's something to respect.
KEVIN Grade_b_medium
Good, not great. I thought Adams had his highlights, but they were mostly dominated by average play. As always, he proved to be a good source of energy, but his inexperience continued to show as more seasoned players like Blake Griffin were able to beat him.
Collison_medium

NICK COLLISON GRADE MIN PTS REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Game Stats)
6 0 0 0 0 0 2 -12
JUAN Grade_cminus_medium
Nick Collison's minutes have been given to Steven Adams this series and although I kind of understand the move, I would still like to see Collison get into the game for more than just 6 minutes.
KEVIN Grade_c_medium Nick Collison has basically been cut from the rotation at this point, and it’s weird to me. Adams has been good, but also flawed in many areas due to his inexperience. Perkins is Perkins. In my mind, there’s always room for Nick Collison to help!

Butler_medium

CARON BUTLER GRADE MIN PTS REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Game Stats)
17 3 1 0 0 0 0 +7
JUAN Grade_d_medium
Honestly, I want to see a DNP-CD for Caron Butler next game if he can't make shots, because his defense on Jamal Crawford has been horrendous. I think I can put up a couple of baskets on him right now.
KEVIN Grade_dplus_medium

Butler wasn’t making his threes AND he was getting roasted on defense. It was an empty 17 minutes of playing time. This was a bad game for Butler through and through, and I’m sure he’ll be happy to get on to the next one.

Fisher_medium

DEREK FISHER GRADE MIN PTS REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Game Stats)
7 0 2 0 0 1 0 +2
JUAN Grade_c_medium
Like I said on the last grades post, I have become oblivious to determining if Derek Fisher was good or not due to his lack of impact. Some people might argue that his name not coming up is a good thing, so I'll go with that.
KEVIN Grade_c_medium I want to give him an A+ for only playing seven minutes, but that’s not really on him. There’s not really much to say about his seven minutes, other than that he was there. Seven minutes ain’t too long, and Fisher neither helped nor hurt his team.

Jones_medium

PERRY JONES III GRADE MIN PTS REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Game Stats)
0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 -3
JUAN Grade_c_medium
Perry Jones got on the court and the other team made a buzzer-beating three. I don't like you anymore.
KEVIN Grade_c_medium
PJ3 checked in at the very end of the first half as a defensive substitution on the last Clippers play before halftime. The Thunder put Kevin Durant on J.J. Redick and Redick made a three. lol

Brooks_medium

SCOTT BROOKS Coaching Grade
JUAN Grade_cplus_medium
Some people might agree with this grade, while some people might think he deserves an A because the team won, but let me explain. I think the Thunder had to out more prepared to play last night, they got into a hole early in the game and never really seemed to break out of it, until well, the end of the game. I think the team depended on iso-ball yet again and that just isn't going to bode well in the playoffs. Scott Brooks' team was 4 minutes away from being down 3-2 in a series they should probably win and blowing home court advantage after collapsing two days earlier in Los Angeles. I think Scott Brooks needs to make better adjustments because the offense, despite scoring a lot of points because of great individual performances just isn't working. I gave Brooks credit for his adjustments in games two and three, but the series has changed, the Clippers' game plan has changed, while the Thunder's remains the same.
KEVIN Grade_aminus_medium
This is a tough one to nail, given how bad the Thunder looked at times, how lucky they were to win, and how much of that luck was enabled by a Scott Brooks decision. Westbrook’s chaos turning out as well as it did is pretty fortunate, but regardless of how it might’ve turned out, Brooks decided to give him free rein. We’d be demolishing him now if there was no call on Westbrook at the end, but they won instead because Westbrook channeled Westbrook and drew the foul. That’s exactly why I think Brooks deserves the benefit of the doubt on these things. He finally cut back Fisher’s minutes, so I’ll give him a cool grade.

Thunder_medium

TEAM GRADE GRADE FG% 3P% AST REB BL ST TO
(Advanced Stats)
42.9% 41.2% 14 44 5 9 12
JUAN Grade_aplus_medium
In all honestly, this team grade was at about a D with 4 minutes left to play in the game, but how can I not give them an A+ after what happened. The Thunder, after blowing game 4, and absolutely stealing a game they should have lost, are ONE WIN AWAY from the Western conference finals.
KEVIN Grade_aplus_medium
YO. THEY DID IT. THEY ACTUALLY DID IT. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. THEY DID IT.

*All player images via US Presswire

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Welcome to Loud City

You must be a member of Welcome to Loud City to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Welcome to Loud City. You should read them.

Join Welcome to Loud City

You must be a member of Welcome to Loud City to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Welcome to Loud City. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker