The Thunder finally closed out the Rockets last night with a 103-94 victory. It took them three games, but they finally closed them out. This was a total team effort, and that is what finally enabled them to break through and get a victory.
Kevin Durant- 43 minutes, 27 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists- A+
KD got a lot of help in this win, but he was still amazing for OKC. He wasn’t looking for his shot until the Thunder really needed it in the fourth quarter, and he helped them pull away. KD let the game come to him, and there is nobody in the NBA (maybe LeBron) that does that better than KD. Durant was also great at passing the ball when he needed to, and he set up his teammates very well in this win.
Serge Ibaka- 26 minutes, 10 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks- C
Ibaka had another bad game and I really don’t like what I have seen from him over the last few games. He is pretty much invisible on offense, and he hasn’t been that intimidating force that he normally is on the defensive end. Ibaka will have to play a lot better in the upcoming series against the Grizzlies if the Thunder want any shot at advancing to the conference finals.
Kevin Martin- 40 minutes, 25 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds- A-
K-Mart had a simply amazing first half of offensive basketball last night, and then he tailed off in the second. However, he was so great in the first half that I don’t mind his disappearance in the second half. He had 21 points at the break for OKC, and this was huge because it took a ton of the pressure off of KD and allowed him to be fresh for the second half. Hats off to Martin, he received a ton of criticism after his awful game 5 performance, but he responded last night.
Reggie Jackson- 45 minutes, 17 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds- A
Jackson played another great game last night, and he is starting to emerge as the second scoring option behind KD. Jackson is very good at attacking the basket (much like Westbrook) and his athleticism is off the charts. He is continuing to learn to control his game as he gets more and more playing time in these playoffs, and the results are just awesome.
Derek Fisher- 27 minutes, 11 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals- A+
The numbers don’t do justice to how much Fisher impacted this game for the Thunder. Fish made countless big plays in the fourth quarter that helped put the Rockets away, and that is the definition of a clutch player. He was very good on defense in defending James Harden, and he knocked down some big three point shots when the defense collapsed on a KD drive to the basket. I have been a big critic of Fisher, but every since Westbrook went down Fisher has been great for OKC.
Thabo Sefolosha- 24 minutes, 3 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals- C-
Much like Ibaka, Thabo had an overall bad game last night. He was a no show on offense and his defense wasn’t really up to par either. He was eventually replaced by Fisher late in the game when Thabo picked up his fourth foul, and he never got back into the game.
Nick Collison- 22 minutes, 10 points, 9 rebounds, 1 block- A
I don’t think it was a coincidence that the Thunder didn’t start playing well until Collison started playing well. Collison is a huge part of this team and he showed that in last nights win. He is a very good defender, and an exceptional passer for a guy his size. He also came up with some big points under the basket late in the game.
Kendrick Perkins- 4 minutes, 0 points, 0 rebounds, 2 turnovers- C
Perk better be ready for Memphis, he has had enough rest.
Scott Brooks- B+
I really liked the way Brooks handled Collison and Fisher’s minutes last night. He saw that Collison was playing well, and he kept him in. He also saw that the Thunder were struggling on offense, and he made a great substitution by bringing in Derek Fisher, who right now is a better offensive option than Thabo is. Brooks had a nice rebound game as coach from game 5’s disaster.