Quantcast 2012 NBA Finals: Thunder vs Heat - Game 3


Miami's stingy defense, James 29 points bolster 2-1 lead



Similar to game 2, it came down to the final seconds to decide the victor.  Suffocating defense from Miami and a free throw by LeBron James helped the Heat secure a 91-85 win to take a 2-1 lead in the NBA Finals.  Oklahoma City had a chance to make a comeback with 13 seconds left, but Thabo Sefolosha threw an inbounds pass past Russell Westbrook and into the hands of Dwyane Wade.

James finished with 29 points on 11 of 23 shooting and 14 rebounds.  Wade added 25 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists, while also hitting nine of the team's 31 free throws.  Chris Bosh rounded out the big three by posting a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Kevin Durant led the way for Oklahoma City with 25 points on 11 of 19 shooting, while Westbrook added 19 points.  James Harden had a rough night only scoring 10 points on 2 of 10 shooting.

Miami faces the same situation now that they faced last year in the NBA Finals against Dallas.  Last year, the Heat were up 2-1 and threw up the white flag the next three games ending the series and making the Mavericks NBA champions.  Will it happen again?  Doubtful, as this seems to be a more intact Heat team knowledgeably.

According to espn.com, Bosh said last year is not a forgotten memory.

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"We carry that pain with us," Bosh said.  "We think about it every day and it really helps us to succeed in this series."

Durant fell into foul trouble again earning his fourth foul in the third quarter and sitting the final five minutes of the quarter.  The Thunder trailed by only two points going into the fourth quarter.

The Thunder were also 4 of 18 from beyond the arc and an uncharacteristic 15 of 24 from the charity stripe.  This was very unusual since they have always been one of the best offensive teams in the NBA.

Miami opened up the game on a 10-4 lead, putting the Thunder in a familiar phase where they fall behind early by a large amount of points.  After one quarter the Heat led 26-20, while James, Bosh, and Wade scored the team's first 18 points.

Another big advantage for the Heat was the atmosphere and crowd.  With the game in Miami, it was clear-cut homecourt advantage as if there was any discoloration in the seats, it was between two Thunder fans sitting behind one of the baskets.  The rest of the American Airlines Arena seemed to look pale white Miami Heat shirts.

James has been keeping his cool the whole series.  He knows what he has to accomplish and is full of media attention, since ESPN NBA analyst Doris Burke only pulls him aside for post game interviews rather than Wade or Bosh.  The focus is on James and his journey to earn a championship ring that would silence critics for a while.

Game four is Tuesday night in Miami.  Tipoff is set for 9 p.m. eastern time.




By: Tyler Scott
Pro Basketball Fans Staff Writer

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