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2013 NBA Playoffs: Thunder vs Rockets, OKC player grades for game 2

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The Thunder withstood a late 4th quarter charge by the Rockets to go up in the series, 2-0. How did each player do in the win?

Christian Petersen

Game 2 between the Thunder and Rockets was a much stickier affair than the blowout in Game 1. Perhaps this is to be expected, since teams, intelligent teams like the Rockets, know how to analyze and adjust. Let's take a look more closely at how each player performed down the stretch to lose a lead but still pull out the big win.

WTLC's game 2 graders are Craig and Ramona.



29 points on 10-25 shooting, 4 rebounds, 9 assists, 1 block, 1 turnover

Grade Comments
Craig Grade_a_medium

Had an amazing start to the game with 15 points in the first quarter. He hit a big three in the 4th quarter to give OKC the lead and made the incredible pass to Sefolosha for the 3 that helped the Thunder pull away from the Rockets.
Ramona Grade_aminus_medium
Durant had his share of perimeter shooting woes in this one, but on a night when his teammates seemed unable to find any kind of shooting consistency or seemed reluctant to shoot the ball at all, KD found the ball in his hands a lot. With Westbrook on the bench in foul trouble near the end of the first quarter and part of the second , Durant was the man of the hour. He did what he normally does: made several clutch shots that kept his team in the game.


26 points on 10-26 shooting, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals, 4 turnovers

Grade Comments
Craig Grade_a_medium

Foul trouble helped Westbrook get off to a slow start but after things got chippy between him and Patrick Beverley he turned into the RW we all know and love.
Ramona Grade_a_medium With Russell at point, there was too much perimeter shooting, especially when it resulted in too many empty possessions. I give the Rockets credited with executing their zone defense, cutting off driving lanes, and many times, leaving the Thunder with the outside shot with seconds on the clock. Having said that, Russell continues to relentlessly attack the rim and pressure the ball defensively. He is an one-man wrecking crew on the fast break, and is truly something to behold.


12 points on 5-6 shooting, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, 6 blocks, 0 turnovers

Grade Comments
Craig Grade_a_medium He did not have the same impact on the offensive end as he did in game one but he was a complete force on the defensive end. Air Congo ended the game with only six blocks. I say only six because it felt like he had about double that.
Ramona Grade_a_medium Serge has got to be more aggressive near the goal. James Harden started out guarding him and right away was handed a foul. Thunder fans everywhere rejoiced because we saw the forest, not the trees. This was a gross mismatch and should have been exploited. When he gets a smaller defender on him, he needs to call for the ball. On the other hand, Serge was an erasing machine with 6 blocked shots, plus 11 rebounds. That’s nothing to sneeze at.


11 points on 4-9 shooting, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, 1 turnover

Grade Comments
Craig Grade_cplus_medium

This grade is based solely on what James Harden was able to do to him and the rest of the Thunder, scoring 36 points and getting to the FT line 20 times. He is considered the defense stopper and he wasn’t able to be that effective doing that. The three 3s were what got him the plus.
Ramona Grade_bminus_medium
He hit a huge 3-pointer in the stretch, sealing Houston’s loss and giving the Thunder a two-possession lead. Thabo needs to find his sweet stroke a little more because that is what’s going to keep him on the floor. Against Houston, most of the time, offense is needed more than defense. The Thunder loses without the late offense he and Kevin Martin provided.


4 points on 2-3 shooting, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block, 4 turnovers

Grade Comments
Craig Grade_dplus_medium Dumb and unnecessary fouls late in the game gave the Rockets a chance to steal the game. The midget Rockets were able to out rebound the Thunder by 17 and that has to fall partly on his shoulders.
Ramona Grade_b_medium
Quiet game for Kendrick Perkins. He had some hustle-plays, going after the loose balls. He posted up in the lane, called for the basketball, and scored the bucket. Perk also recorded two steals for Wednesday night. He will need to lead his teammates in cutting down the second chance points put up by Houston.


10 points on 3-9 shooting, 1 steal, 1 turnover

Grade Comments
Craig Grade_dminus_medium
Thankfully the Thunder won the game or else I was ready to drop an F on him. Missed open threes and had very little impact for the Thunder in the game. If the Thunder are going to the title he needs to figure it out fast.
Ramona Grade_cplus_medium
I like his confidence. During a break, Coach Brooks encouraged Martin to keep shooting regardless of misses, and he did. He connected on two huge 3-pointers that the Thunder desperately needed to outrun the Rockets.


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

Grade Comments
Craig Grade_cminus_medium

It was just kind of a meh game for Collison. Didn’t have his usual hustle impact on the game and played only 12 minutes.
Ramona Grade_a_medium Nick was used sparingly in this second Houston game. Only twelve minutes on the floor tonight, but his time on the floor was valuable. When he was out there, good things happen. Two of his three rebounds were offensive, and he was one of three Thunder players with a steal.


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

Grade Comments
Craig Grade_b_medium
Had to come in early to spell Westbrook who found himself in early foul trouble and held down the fort. Hit 2 big 3's, a notable weakness in RJ's game.
Ramona Grade_b_medium Reggie looked solid in the first half when he came in for Russell plagued with foul trouble. Reggie was, at first, a little reluctant to shoot the ball, returning the ball right back to KD as soon as he caught it. But as the game grew, so did Reggie’s game, knocking down 2 very timely 3-pointers.


0 points on 0-1 shooting, 0 turnovers

Grade Comments
Craig Grade_f_medium
7 minutes, 0-1 from the field and a plus/minus of –4. At least he only played those 7 minutes.
Ramona Grade_c_medium
Fisher was not on the floor very much this game. He did not make much of an impact, and he only attempted one shot.


Grade Comments
Craig Grade_b_medium Left Kendrick Perkins in late in the game which lead to the Rockets erasing the Thunder's lead. Did a good job managing Russell Westbrook with his foul trouble.
Ramona Grade_aminus_medium First of all, Kudos to Kevin McHale for changing up his lineup. That takes courage to do something like that. By winning this one though, Scott Brooks has the major upper hand because he and his staff are as good as anyone in adjusting game to game. You can bet Coach Brooks will have his guys prepared to play either lineup on Saturday. Plus, we will have to wait and see if his positive nature rubs off on Kevin Martin’s offensive prowess.