Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

Game Grades: Thunder vs. Timberwolves

Even though it was much closer than it should’ve been, the Oklahoma City Thunder are one step closing to securing home court advantage throughout the Western Conference playoffs.

Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant combined 78 points, so you would think they should win big.

Unfortunately, with James Harden struggling after sitting out yesterday, the Wolves’ bench outscored the Thunder’s, 54-18. The Thunder were able to hold on, winning by a score of 115-110.

They next play in Los Angeles on Monday, against the Clippers.

Kevin Durant- A+     43pts/7reb/1ast/1blk

Another MVP-like performance for the Thunder superstar. Durant scored with crazy efficiency. He scored 43 points on just 23 shots. His offense tonight makes up for bit of his defense that was lacking from this game. Against much better teams, this defensive effort will not cut it.

Russell Westbrook- A     35pts/1reb/8ast/2stl

People will complain that, yet again, Russell Westbrook took more shots than Durant. This isn’t as big of a problem as people make it out to be. He is going to get his shots, because he is just so good at creating his own. What gets overlooked is that fact that Westbrook has eight assists tonight. So, Russell, keep on shooting.

Serge Ibaka- B+     8pts/12reb/2ast/5blk

With 5 blocks and 12 rebounds, Ibaka did well for the most part for the Thunder. The bad part? Blocks are not the only thing that is good for defense. Ibaka has really struggled this year when the other team’s PF plays on the wing. Teams like the Rockets, Nuggets, and Timberwolves have an advantage against the Thunder when they go small, because of Ibaka. He is still young, and has plenty of time to improve, but this may cause problems come playoff time.

Kendrick Perkins- C     2pts/10reb/1stl

Typical Perkins game. Played some solid defense, was terrible on offense, and grabbed a few rebounds.

James Harden- F     6pts/4reb/3ast/1stl

Oh wow was this game ugly for Mr. Harden. Coming off sitting out a game, Harden struggled to find the bottom of the net. He made just one of his 11 field goal attempts, including eight 3-point tries. Lucky for him, his two star teammates picked up the slack for his lack of scoring.

Rest of the Thunder- C-

Nick Collison is one of the only bright spots for the rest of the Thunder this season. He, along with Thabo Sefolosha scored 19 of the 27 points from the non-Harden bench and Thabo. Derek Fisher gave the Thunder 20 minutes, but failed to score and only managed one assist. The Derek Fisher experiment seems to have failed so far, and I’m not surprised at all.

Tags: Derek Fisher James Harden Kendrick Perkins Kevin Durant Nick Collison Russell Westbrook Serge Ibaka Thabo Sefolosha

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