The Thunder are a win away from a Finals birth, and when we look back, Game 5 may be the turning point. Despite the fact that few of the Thunder players played great individually, the team persevered through numerous trials to come out in the end and are now up 3-2 in the series.
27 points on 10-19 shooting, 4 REB, 5 AST, 3 ST, 1 BL, 4 TO
|Zorgon's Grade||Kevin Durant struggled early, but his game definitely picked up later on. It wasn't a game of intense scoring for him, as he was pretty physically defended and didn't want to force shots. But where he really made his mark was defense. He did a good job of filling passing lanes, and all three of his steals led to scores. Plus, he didn't give much room to anyone he was guarding. Even though Gary Neal is a lot shorter than him, the fact that Durant had a perimeter block on him is a testament to how well Durant played on the defensive end tonight.|
||Kevin Durant did not have the same 'hammer thrown' game as he did in Game 4, but he continued to display a performance in all aspects of the offense and defense that a championship team requires. Durant led the charge in the 2nd half of the 3rd quarter, when it appeared that the Thunder were beginning to waiver. His punctuation buzzer beater at the end of the 3rd served notice that he could take whatever the Spurs threw at him and return volley. With the Spurs paying more attention to him in the 4th, he deferred to his teammates and did not force anything. He only gets docked a few points because his rebounding wasn't up to par (OKC allowed 10 ORB's) and he committed 4 TO's on the night.|
23 points on 9-24 shooting, 4 REB, 12 AST, 4 ST, 1 BL, 6 TO
||Russell Westbrook is such an enigma when it comes to overall impact. Many basketball analysts have debated his worth at the point guard position. But when it comes to how he's played in this series, that sentiment has been taken to an extreme. I can't really tell whether he's helping us or hurting us. As Sherman noted below, there's some moments where he's obviously playing a good game, but there's other where he's just out-of-control and making you cringe. But one thing I can't deny is that he hit a really clutch jumper with 1:36 to go. After nearly killing us with two turnovers. Waugh, I'll give him a C.|
||I really wish I could get Russell Westbrook a higher grade for last night's performance, because in the first half he played the point position so, so well. He was setting up the offense so that the Spurs defense could not figure out what he was doing, he was darting around screens and hitting the open man, and was hitting some big shots to help carry his team when they struggled on offense. However, those three consecutive turnovers in the 4th really hurt, even if he wasn't primarily responsible for 2 of them. His struggles in engaging the offense late was a big reason why the Spurs had one more big run at the end. Even so, his jump shot with under 2 minutes to play was huge. Westbrook is fearless.|
20 points on 6-11 shooting, 4 REB, 3 AST, 2 ST, 0 TO
More grades after the jump.
9 points on 4-6 shooting, 5 REB, 2 BL, 1 TO
6 points on 2-6 shooting, 2 REB, 1 AST, 1 ST, 0 TO
4 points, 10 REB, 2 TO
5 points, 4 REB, 1 AST, 1 ST, 3 TO
6 points on 3-3 shooting, 1 REB, 1 ST, 1 BL
8 points on 3-3 shooting in only 4 minutes