NBA Playoffs 2011: Thunder vs. Grizzlies Game 5 Report Card
After a crazy three-overtime Game 4 in Memphis, both teams were in for an interesting night in Game 5.
Fortunately for Thunder fans, Oklahoma City is rolling with momentum from Game 4 and is now in control of the series.
Key players Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Serge Ibaka had solid games tonight against Memphis.
For the Grizzlies, the only player to step up was Marc Gasol.
Let's get right to it: here are the grades for each key player in Game 5.
James Harden continues to impress the Thunder faithful with his playoff performances. Seen as a primary bench-scoring punch, Harden was able to do much more in Game 5.
In the first half, Harden slashed to the rim, found open teammates, and drained open shots when he needed them. His first-half stat line consisted of 9 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists on 4-of-5 shooting.
Harden was void of points in the second half, but finished with 9 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. The impressive part of his stat line was the plus-29 point differential when he was in the game.
Final Grade: B-
Durant was impressive in a game that he needed to be. Since teammate Russell Westbrook has been somewhat struggling of late, Durant took charge in this game.
In the first half, Durant made it his mission to get to the rim early and often. Durant finished the first half with 11 points and 5 rebounds. He also went 3-of-4 from the line for the Thunder.
Durant was not spectacular in the second half, but he didn't need to be. The "Durantula" finished Game 5 with 19 points, 7 rebounds and just 1 turnover.
Final Grade: B
The youngster from the Republic of the Congo finished the first half with 4 points, 2 rebounds and most importantly 2 blocks.
Ibaka finished with 9 points, 4 rebounds and 3 blocks in just 21 minutes. His lack of minutes can be attributed to how big of a blowout this game was midway through the third quarter.
Though Ibaka's stat line is not crazy impressive, his work on Randolph was.
Final Grade: A-
Russell Westbrook has drawn major criticism during these playoffs. During Game 4, Westbrook was ripped on for taking too many dumb shots.
Unfortunately for Westbrook, he did not do a whole lot to hush the doubters in Game 5.
Westbrook finished the first half with 7 points, 3 assists, and 3 turnovers on 3-of-8 shooting.
Since the game was a blowout shortly thereafter, Westbrook finished with 11 points and 6 assists on 4-of-10 shooting.
It's tough to be overly harsh on Westbrook considering how much he was needed.
Final Grade: C-
The Thunder front court was all over Randolph, making it as hard as possible for him to do anything. His outing tonight was by far the worst one he has had since before the playoffs started.
The crafty left-hander finished the first half with a disappointing 5 points and 4 rebounds on 2-of-8 shooting.
Things got even worse in the second half. Randolph picked up a fourth foul early in the second half, placing him on the bench and out of rhythm.
Randolph's final stat line was 9 points and 7 rebounds in 36 minutes of action. Credit the Thunder's front court for Randolph's abysmal performance.
Final Grade: F
Marc Gasol is starting to show how inconsistent he can be. After going for 26 points and 21 rebounds in Monday night's thriller, Gasol scored just 15 points and just 5 rebounds in Game 5.
His first half was as bad as they come. He finished the first 24 minutes with 4 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 turnovers in 17 minutes.
For some reason, Gasol was the only Grizzlies player who got anything going in the second half. He had impressive defensive plays, tipped out offensive rebounds and scored buckets when they needed him to.
Unfortunately for Gasol, he was the only Grizzlies player who showed up in the second half.
Final Grade: C
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