OKC Thunder vs. Los Angeles Lakers Game Grades


Mar 5, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) handles the ball against Los Angeles Lakers forward Earl Clark (6) during the second half at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Los Angeles Lakers 122-105 at Chesapeake Energy Arena last night to improve to 44-16 on the year.

The Thunder tied an NBA record with just two turnovers in the game as they were very efficient all night long.

The Thunder shot 47.9 percent from the field and held the Lakers to 40.3 percent.

Kobe Bryant scored 30 to lead LA but Steve Nash and Dwight Howard were held in check. Nash finished with 20 but Howard had just six and each shot just 2-for-14 combined in the first half.

The Thunder are off tonight and will host the New York Knicks Thursday night.

Here are the Game Grades:

Kevin Durant – 40 minutes, 26 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists – A

Durant actually didn’t shoot too well and missed a lot of easy looks we’re used to seeing him make. He had a lot of room to work with handling the ball in the pick-and-roll and was very aggressive looking to shoot because of that. The Lakers really dodged a bullet with Durant having a pedestrian shooting night because he could have easily gone for 40.

Russell Westbrook – 36 minutes, 37 points, 5 assists, 10 rebounds – A+

Westbrook had another huge first quarter out of the gates scoring 13. He had scored 18, 15 and 14 points in the first quarters of his last three games before last night. The hot start lasted for Westbrook too as he shot 15-for-29 from the field for the game. An efficient Westbrook is a scary thing for any opposing team. He had just one turnover in the game too and that didn’t come until the fourth quarter.

Serge Ibaka – 28 minutes, 13 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks – B+

Ibaka was efficient shooting 6-for-8 from the field and solid on the defensive end. He had both of his blocks on one possession in the first quarter when he met Howard at the summit and denied his dunk attempt then blocked Earl Clark on the follow. That kind of set a tone at least for Howard having a horrible game.

Kevin Martin – 29 minutes, 11 points, 5 assists, 1 rebound – A-

Martin went 3-for-11 from behind the three-point line and 0-for-1 from inside it. The five dimes were a season-high and a representation of the improved chemistry between Martin and the second unit. He was aggressive shooting early like last game and looked at first like he would be getting out of his slump but he ended up shooting not so well overall in the end.

Kendrick Perkins – 20 minutes, 2 points, 5 rebounds – B

Perkins contained Howard and shut him down but that isn’t as impressive this season as it used to be. Other than that, Perkins was 0-for-5 from the field.

Thabo Sefolosha – 28 minutes, 5 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist – B

Sefolosha didn’t get a lot of looks on offense going just 2-for-4 from the field and didn’t exactly hold Kobe in check at the other end. Kobe did have to really work for his though and credit Sefolosha there that does one of the best jobs anyone in the league does on Kobe.

Nick Collison – 13 minutes, 6 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist – B+

Collison cannot cover Howard straight up but that wasn’t a big deal last night. He was great on the offensive glass and finishing around the rim a few times. Just another solid performance from Collison.

Reggie Jackson – 13 minutes, 10 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists – A-

Jackson continues his hot play making 5-of-7 shots last night and scoring in double-digits. Jackson looked unstoppable driving to the rim on the fast break and in the pick-and-roll. The Thunder were running that pick-and-roll set for Jackson that they used to for James Harden last year and Jackson had similar results picking apart the Lakers defense.

Derek Fisher – 18 minutes, 10 points, 2 steals – A

After going scoreless in his first two appearances for the Thunder this season, Fisher was great last night. He made 3-of-4 shots and scored 10. If Fisher can make shots, he will be fine playing a lot of minutes for OKC. It just feels unlikely this will be the case so much. Fortunately for the Thunder Jackson also played very well so it’s not as if Fisher has a chance of stealing his job.

Hasheem Thabeet – 7 minutes, 2 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist – B

Thabeet didn’t play a lot of minutes because Howard really didn’t either. He held his own vs. Howard while he was in there though and finished one shot nicely as the roll man.

Ronnie Brewer – 6 minutes, 1 rebound, 1 steal – B-

Brewer got in during the second quarter when Sefolosha usually returns. He didn’t play long and was used primarily to check Kobe, who didn’t do anything remarkable against him. Brewer did commit one of the Thunder’s two turnovers in the game which is just so disappointing.