Game Grades: Thunder vs. Lakers

Five points in 0.8 seconds. The Oklahoma City Thunder gave us a Reggie Miller-like moment just before the first half ended.

With the clock running down, Russell Westbrook pulls up and hits a three with 0.8 seconds to go in the half. Andrew Bynum waits to throw it in to Metta World Peace, while Kevin Durant sneaks in, steals it and throws up a shot just before the buzzer sounded.

After review, the refs counted the shot, giving the Thunder a 46-43 lead going into halftime.

They ran the fast break beautifully all game, scoring 17 points off it, leading them to a 100-85 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

A big win for the Thunder puts them tied with Miami for the best record in the NBA heading into the All-Star break.

Kevin Durant- A     33pts/4reb/6ast/3stl

Kevin Durant has had a great week. Including with his 51 point game on Sunday, KD has led the Thunder to five straight wins going into the All-Star break, where he will be participating in the 3-point contest, as well as the game on Sunday. Durant’s put together a nice defensive game to go along with his 33 point performance.

Russell Westbrook- B-     19pts/5reb/6ast/1stl

The numbers don’t tell it all for Russell Westbrook tonight. Though he only shot 6-17 from the field, he was taking mostly good shots. When James Harden is playing well, Westbrook can afford these types of nights where he just isn’t hitting his shots. He will be rewarded for his excellent first half on Sunday, when he plays in the All-Star game along with Durant and Coach Scott Brooks.

James Harden- A+     16pts/4reb/3ast/1stl

Days before the All-Star game, James Harden proved why he should have made the team. Even without the 16 points on 60% shooting, Harden played a great game defensively. Guarding one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history, he forced Kobe to shoot just under 30% for the game. James grew up today, showing he can be a tough player on both ends of the floor, even giving Kobe a little trash talk towards the end. He is a great asset to the team, and keeps on improving.

Serge Ibaka- B+     11pts/13reb/0ast/3blk

Ibaka took his offensive game outside the paint against the Lakers. With Bynum and Pau Gasol clogging up the lane, he took more jumpers than usual, and saw some success. An improvement in this facet of his game would give the 21(?) year old big man one more thing for opponents to fear.

Kendrick Perkins-C+      3pts/9reb/2ast/2blk

The Thunder tend to struggle against teams with strong front courts. Perkins needs to play like he did in Boston to prevent getting dominated in the post. The post play, on both ends of the floor, is giving people doubt as to whether the Thunder can make/win the NBA Finals.

Daequan Cook- C-     8pts/3reb/0ast/1stl     

Daequan Cook is only a career 36% 3-point shooter, so we shouldn’t expect him to be to the Thunder what Kyle Korver is to the Bulls. Again Cook failed to impress us, as he shot 2-7 from three. All I know is that Thabo Sefolosha better come back soon.

Rest of the Thunder- B

The only non-Harden bench player to score was Reggie Jackson, and he did with style. A minute into the second quarter, Reggie Jackson threw down a huge dunk, getting a nice reaction from the pumped up Thunder crowd. Also hitting four free throws, Jackson continues to make his case for more playing time with Eric Maynor’s absence.

Tags: James Harden Kevin Durant Reggie Jackson Russell Westbrook

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