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

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San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder: Postgame Grades and Analysis
Noah Graham/Getty Images

Russell Westbrook scored 40 points, Kevin Durant added 31 and the Oklahoma City Thunder handled the San Antonio Spurs, 105-92, Tuesday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena, tying the Western Conference Finals at two games apiece.

The Thunder led by as many as 25 in the third quarter behind a relentless performance from Westbrook. This was probably Westbrook's best outing of the season, as the explosive guard added 10 assists and five steals to go along with his scoring output.

Oklahoma City shot 48.7 percent from the floor and went 24-of-31 from the free-throw line. It also scored 21 fast-break points, 17 coming in the first half.

By contrast, the Spurs failed to record a single point on the break and shot only 39.8 percent overall. It marked the second straight game that San Antonio did not shoot at least 40 percent from the floor.

The Thunder tallied 12 steals and only turned the ball over seven times.

Game 5 is Thursday at 9 p.m. ET at the AT&T Center.

 

Key Player Grades 

San Antonio Spurs

Tim Duncan, Power Forward

USA TODAY Sports

This was another underwhelming outing for Tim Duncan.

The future Hall of Famer posted nine points and six rebounds in 25 minutes, going 3-of-8 from the floor. He made some nice dishes, tallying four assists, but his impact on this game on either end of the court was rather minimal.

For the second straight game, Duncan did not provide much rim protection.

This all needs to change for Game 5 in San Antonio.

Grade: C-

 

Tony Parker, Point Guard

Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

Tony Parker had a very solid first half, compiling 12 points and four assists off 6-of-9 shooting. However, he was not able to have much of an impact during his minutes in the third quarter, and he did not even play in the fourth (along with every other starter not named Danny Green, who saw one minute of action in the final period) due to the fact that it was a blowout.

What was a bit concerning and unusual about Parker was his carelessness with the ball. He was stripped a couple of times by Russell Westbrook, failing to pay attention when Westbrook was creeping up on him from behind.

Parker finished with 14 points on a 7-of-12 clip, turning the ball over three times in 26 minutes.

Grade: B-

 

Kawhi Leonard, Small Forward

Kawhi Leonard got off to a strong start, burying a couple of triples in the first quarter, but the rest of the night was a struggle for the third-year forward.

Leonard exhibited a very poor shot selection for much of this one, firing up long, contested twos early in the shot clock, something that severely inhibited San Antonio's ball movement.

Leonard finished with 10 points off 3-of-9 shooting, grabbing five rebounds.

As far as his defense on Kevin Durant, it's hard to blame Leonard for the MVP's outburst. Leonard was draped all over Durant most of the evening, but KD still made his shots. That's what MVPs do.

Grade: C-

 

Danny Green, Shooting Guard

Danny Green was all but invisible.

He hit a three-pointer early on in the game, but that was it.

Green would proceed to go 1-of-4 from the floor overall, turning the ball over three times in 15 minutes. He made careless passes and exhibited sloppy ball-handling, helping OKC gain some momentum in the first half.

It was not a great night for Green.

Grade: F

 

Tiago Splitter, Center

Like Green, Tiago Splitter was nonexistent.

Splitter registered three points and one rebound in 19 minutes, failing to make any impact on the offensive glass.

He went 1-of-3 in 19 minutes.

Grade: F

 

Manu Ginobili, Sixth Man

Richard Rowe/Getty Images

After an impressive Game 3, Manu Ginobili was M.I.A. in Game 4.

In only 11 minutes, Ginobili recorded five points, going 2-of-8 from the floor and misfiring on three of his four three-point tries.

Manu also committed three fouls.

It was not a vintage Ginobili performance, to say the least.

Grade: F

 

Bench

San Antonio's bench played much better than the starters. Much better.

The reserves actually got the Spurs back into the game, with Boris Diaw and Cory Joseph providing sparks late in the contest to help San Antonio whittle a 25-point third-quarter lead down to 12 early in the fourth.

Diaw actually posted a double-double, putting up 14 points and 10 rebounds, not to mention three assists. Of course, it would have been nice if he was playing that well early on when the game was within reach. He shot 5-of-11 from the field, knocking down a pair of threes.

Joseph scored 11 points in 17 minutes and actually had the biggest highlight of the game, throwing down a vicious dunk over Serge Ibaka which resulted in a three-point play.

Matt Bonner made an appearance, too, scoring eight points in 16 minutes.

As a whole (excluding Ginobili), the Spurs bench scored 48 points.

It's hard to give them a full "A," though, because that production just wasn't there when San Antonio really needed it earlier.

Grade: A-

 

Oklahoma City Thunder

Kevin Durant, Small Forward

USA TODAY Sports

Durant was absolutely sensational in the first half of this game.

Durant scored 22 of his 31 points in the first 24 minutes, going 9-of-12 from the floor and making shots with hands constantly in his face.

He only went 2-of-10 in the second half, but by that point, the damage had already been done.

Along with Westbrook, Durant controlled the tempo of the contest, weaving through the defense and finishing tough shots around the basket while also burying perimeter jumpers.

The MVP added five boards, five dimes and three steals to his totals.

Grade: A

 

Russell Westbrook, Point Guard

Noah Graham/Getty Images

Westbrook was the best player on the floor. 

The fiery floor general was all over the place, dropping 40 points, 10 assists and five steals.

Westbrook was a one-man fast break for the Thunder for much of the night, picking the pockets of Spurs players and finishing in transition.

Most importantly, Westbrook was incredibly efficient, going 12-of-24 from the floor and making all 14 of his free-throw attempts.

To say he was a dominant, disruptive force would be putting it lightly.

Grade: A+

 

Serge Ibaka, Power Forward

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Serge Ibaka was a force once again.

While he didn't knock down his first four shots like he did in Game 3, Ibaka was a monster defensively, blocking three shots and making Spurs drivers change their decisions around the basket countless times.

He tallied nine points and eight rebounds to go along with his swats and shot 4-of-8 from the floor.

Plus, Ibaka was able to play 35 minutes, providing all the more evidence for us to believe that his calf is absolutely fine.

Grade: B+

 

Reggie Jackson, Shooting Guard

Reggie Jackson had a nasty ankle turn in the first quarter, and he was severely limited afterward.

He played in only 13 minutes, shooting 1-of-5. His lone make was a triple that put Oklahoma City up by 20 in the third quarter.

Due to the circumstances surrounding Jackson's evening, it doesn't seem fair to give him a grade. Let's just hope his ankle is ready to go for Game 5.

Grade: Incomplete

 

Kendrick Perkins, Center

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Kendrick Perkins actually made a rather positive impact.

In 22 minutes, Perkins grabbed 10 rebounds and also came up with two big blocks.

He only scored two points, but we all know that Perkins is not a scorer. He is asked to defend the paint and hit the boards, and that is what he did in this one.

Grade: B

 

Caron Butler, Sixth Man

Caron Butler didn't make much of a dent on the stat sheet, scoring four points in 23 minutes, but there was a bit to like about his performance.

Butler was solid defensively and didn't try to do too much with the basketball, as evidenced by the fact that he only attempted two shots.

He played within the scheme of things for OKC and didn't make any miscues, coming up perfect in the turnover department.

Grade: B-

 

Bench

Jeremy Lamb may have only gone 2-of-7 from the floor, but he certainly made an impact on this game.

He knocked down a big three-pointer before the half to put OKC up by 15, and he also collected three steals to help the Thunder get out in transition. Lamb scored seven points overall.

Steven Adams had another solid night, too, posting four points and five rebounds and providing some solid rim protection before fouling out in 23 minutes. Thankfully for Adams, the fouls were essentially negligible.

Grade: B-

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