Game Grades: Thunder vs. Celtics

After a 3-14 start from the field, the Thunder went on a run that put the halftime score at 72-49.

They were playing quality defense, shooting lights out, but the players got too comfortable in the second half.

The Celtics slowly picked away at the deficit, eventually bringing it within six, with 3:31 to go in the game. A couple of clutch, Kevin Durant bank shots sealed the game for the Thunder, winning 119-104.

They pulled the win out in the end, but the Thunder need to learn how to play with a lead.

Kevin Durant- B+     28pts/9reb/6ast/4stl

Durant played a pretty quiet game until the end, tonight. Shooting only 40% from the floor, his missed shots helped the Celtics get back into the game. Still, Durant hit clutch baskets and free throws to prevent the game getting too close. Twenty-two shots is a few too many to only score 28. At this point you have to nit-pick at his game to find ways to improve.

Russell Westbrook- A-     31pts/5reb/6ast/1stl

Again, Russell took more shots than Kevin Durant tonight. This has been the case for many games this season, and it has is one of his main criticisms. In games like tonight, it’s okay, but in closer games Durant should take the most shots on the team. Westbrook continues to play at an all-star level, and would be getting more assists if his big men would shoot a higher percentage.

Kendrick Perkins- B     8pts/10reb/0blk

Yet another technical for Kendrick Perkins, he picked up his 11th on the year for complaining a call that fouled him out of the game. With two more, he will get a suspension, and we are only half way through the season. Otherwise, Perkins had a nice game, grabbing ten boards, along with eight points on 4-5 shooting.

Serge Ibaka- D     4pts/5reb/1blk

Ibaka really struggled tonight, making only one of his five shots, while only getting five rebounds. With the Thunder hot from outside, they didn’t feed it to the post often. Ibaka failed to make an impact on this game, only playing 22 minutes in the game.

Daequan Cook- A-     17pts/5reb/1ast

Finally, Cook made a few 3-pointers. He was a main part of the first half charge that put the Thunder up 27 points. It looks like Daequan is getting a little more comfortable in a starting role each night. Hopefully the three triples he made tonight will give him more confidence after only hitting on four of his last 34 attempts from beyond the arc.

James Harden- A     17pts/4reb/7ast/2stl

Once James Harden got into the game, the Thunder started rolling. Harden played like he was on a mission, shooting 60%, and driving to the basket with power. After the poor showing on Sunday against Denver, he stepped up his game tonight. Late in the game, with Durant and Westbrook on the court, Harden took it to the hoop, and drew a foul, hitting the two free throws. He is able to take control late in the game if the other two are struggling.

Rest of the Thunder- A+

The bench play was wonderful against the Celtics. Royal Ivey hits two 3-pointers early, and scored eight points, while Nazr Mohammed converted all three of his field goal attempts for six points. A majority of the bench minutes were during the second quarter run, and they contributed as much as the starters, during their time on the court.

Tags: Game Grades James Harden Kevin Durant Russell Westbrook

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