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San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder: Postgame Grades and Analysis

Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistDecember 17, 2012

San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder: Postgame Grades and Analysis

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    The Oklahoma City Thunder got their payback for the early-season loss to the San Antonio Spurs with a 107-93 win to further their hold atop the Western Conference.

    San Antonio falls to 19-7 on the year after losing three of its last four games, while Oklahoma City goes to 20-4, making it the first team in the NBA to make it to the 20-win mark.

    The Spurs were able to keep the game close for the duration of the first half, going into the second half down by just five points, but Oklahoma City used a huge third quarter to break it wide open, going up 82-64 heading into the final frame.

    Oklahoma City ended up having to hold San Antonio off late in the fourth, but the Spurs never made a real threatening run down the stretch.

Point Guards

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    Tony Parker, PG SAS: C+

    Tony Parker would have had a good enough game if it had been against any other team, but Parker finished with just 14 points on 4-of-11 shooting and seven assists in 26 minutes.

    It wasn't a nightmare game for Parker, but it wasn't one to remember either.

     

    Russell Westbrook, PG OKC: B

    It was one of those games where critics will give Westbrook guff for shooting the ball too much, but he had an all-around effective game.

    Westbrook scored 22 points, but on 6-of-18 shooting, getting the benefit of 11 attempts from the free-throw line.

    Russ was able to add an impressive six rebounds and continued to show off his ability to run the point, dropping off nine assists to go along with three steals. 

Shooting Guards

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    Gary Neal, SG SAS: C-

    It wasn't a banner day for shooting guards in this one, but nobody really expected that coming into the game.

    Gary Neal just flat-out shot too many times in this game. He put up 11 shots, but made just three of them, giving him eight points for the game.

    With four rebounds and one assist, Neal was unimpressive all the way around.

     

    Thabo Sefolosha, SG OKC: C

    For Thabo Sefolosha, it was a very average game. Nothing spectacular happened on his part, but nothing terrible happened either.

    He did his job when he was in, playing good defense on Neal and even switching off onto Danny Green and Stephen Jackson at times.

    Sefolosha ended up making just one of his eight shots in 24  minutes, but it didn't end up hurting the Thunder in the end.

Small Forwards

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    Danny Green, SF SAS: C

    The hot-shooting forward for the Spurs only ended up playing 20 minutes, mostly because Kevin Durant was towering over him by a good five inches throughout the game.

    As a result, he was never really able to get into a rhythm and ended up making just two of his five shots, scoring five points.

    He just wasn't utilized enough in the contest to make a difference, as the Spurs were trying to work their lineup back together with the return of Stephen Jackson.

     

    Kevin Durant, SF OKC: B

    In one of the strangest developments of the season, Kevin Durant did not get off his 10th shot of the contest until nine minutes into the fourth quarter.

    Durant ended up making six of his 13 shots in the game, scoring 19 and simply managing the game from the small forward spot.

    He was terrific at stepping in and scoring when the Thunder needed him to, and stepping away to let Serge Ibaka do his thing.

    Durant added six rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots.

Power Forwards

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    Tiago Splitter, PF SAS: B+

    The first half of this one was all about the power forwards, as both Tiago Splitter and Serge Ibaka went into halftime as their team's leading scorers.

    Splitter had one of his best games of the season up to that point, scoring 10 points in the first half, but he disappeared in the second half.

    Still, he put up 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting, three rebounds, a steal and two blocks for an effective 22 minutes of floor time.

     

    Serge Ibaka, PF OKC: A+

    The Thunder big man scored a career-high 25 points against the Detroit Pistons earlier this season, and he ended matching the total Monday night.

    Ibaka dominated the glass throughout the game, pulling down 17 rebounds (five offensive), and had three blocked shots on the defensive end.

    Ibaka was everywhere in this one, and it was easily one of the best games of his career.

Centers

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    Tim Duncan, C SAS: B-

    The Big Fundamental didn't do much to end his stretch of bad games, but you definitely couldn't say he struggled either.

    Duncan played good defense on Kendrick Perkins, but that's not a great accomplishment in itself, and he finished with just 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting in a limited 24 minutes.

    He hasn't been his usual dominant self lately, but it's probably just a midseason lull.

     

    Kendrick Perkins, C OKC: C+

    Somebody tell Perkins not to shoot the ball for a while. Perk did quite enough of that Monday night.

    Perk walked away with nine points on 3-of-9 shooting, which isn't exactly the picture of efficiency from a big man.

    He added four rebounds, one assist and a steal, but it seems like he's just not flowing well with the rest of the youth of OKC.

Sixth Men

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    Boris Diaw, SAS: C-

    With the return of Stephen Jackson and the emergence of Nando de Colo, it seems like Boris Diaw's days as the Spurs sixth man are numbered. He's still going to be a terrific member of the rotation, but he likely won't be the extremely effective player he has been in the past.

    Diaw added just six points in 23 minutes, throwing in five rebounds, two steals and a block, but he seemed lackadaisical defensively when he had to chase Ibaka around. There was a lot of sluggishness in the loss.

     

    Kevin Martin, OKC: A

    Twenty points on 10 shots is an amazing night for any player on any team, but when you're getting that kind of production off the bench, then it's like playing with house money.

    Martin was knocking down shots left and right, coming off screens as quick as a whip and getting his low shot off just in time on each make.

    When the Thunder have Kevin Martin making 70 percent of his shots on any given night, they're nearly unbeatable.

Benches

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    San Antonio Spurs: B+

    The biggest advantage the Spurs seemed to have in the contest was when they had their second unit out there running things.

    Nando de Colo chipped in 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting to go along with six assists, Dejuan Blair was rebounding and playing solid defense, Stephen Jackson was getting back into the swing of things (five points in 19 minutes) and James Anderson even got in and played well for a stretch.

    The Spurs just couldn't deal with Oklahoma City's starting five, and it showed all night long.

     

    Oklahoma City Thunder: C

    If it weren't for Kevin Martin and Nick Collison, this bench would have been a complete non-factor.

    Martin obviously shot the lights out, and Collison nearly pulled down a double-double with eight points and 10 rebounds, but that was about it.

    Eric Maynor had three assists and was scoreless in 11 minutes of play, while the rest of the bench played for a combined 10 minutes.

    OKC's bench is rather ineffective past the top two or three guys, but as long as it's playing well from the top down, there aren't going to be many problems this season.

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