DOWN TO THE WIRE! Series Now 3 – 1, Miami

It was down to the final seconds but Miami pulls it out, winning their 3rd straight and taking the commanding lead of 3 – 1 in the series.

Another big game for the Miami Heat, taking the game 104 – 98. Now, with Game 5 in Miami, it is fact that there is slim chance the Oklahoma City Thunder will come back from this deficit. First quarter, it was all OKC. They spaced the floor. They made the extra pass. They got good looks. That pep talk that veteran of the league, Derek Fisher, seemed to get them going. Their defense was excellent. They outscored Miami, 33 – 19. The next quarter and the ones after was a complete turn around. Their defense waned. Miami outscored them the last three quarters. OKC gave up way too many open looks, which brings me to…

The Matchup:

Today it was the Battle of the PGs, Mario Chalmers vs. Russell Westbrook. Both putting up huge numbers for their teams.

Winner of Game 3:

Although Miami pulled it out and Chalmers put up big numbers, it was Russell Westbrook with the tough inside buckets and amazing penetration, scoring 43 pts.

We have fight in us. We’re going to compete for 48 minutes 1 more night. Hopefully we can come back with the win – Thunder head coach Scott Brooks after the game

Tale of the tape:

OKC came roaring out of the roaring out of the gates with their 33 – 19 lead. Russell Westbrook, after a couple of missed shots at the rim, played the lanes and the buckets started dropping. Kevin Durant had a slow start as well, but he picked it up as well, dropping bombs and keeping the ball out of reach. After the 1st, the defense had some huge gaps in it, giving Miami too many open shots in transition. Great protection of the ball from this team until late in the game. James Harden still not playing as well as he did in the first game at OKC. Not much of a team game played offensively but everyone was on the boards. Only Fisher finished without a rebound in the game for them. They shot 48% from the field.

Miami’s offense was on fire from a team standpoint after the 1st. Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and Mario Chalmers all had double-digit games. Again, fouls were big for Miami, getting to the line 25 times. Neither team had any players in real foul trouble. Miami did have some trouble in the game. Wade came down hard on his back, but was back in the game after a time out. James slipped onto his knee on a drive inside. He played for about a min, constantly being checked on by medical and training staff, eventually sitting with leg cramps. After the game, Doris Burke spoke with DWade and asked him about LeBron. He answered with a simple “He be aight…,” smiled and went to the locker room. Miami shot about 49% from the field.

Miami is now 8-0 in games that they’ve trailed in during the playoffs.

Notables:

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were the only value to the team offensively in the game. KD finished with 28. He was 9 for 9 from the line, had 2 reb, 3 ast and 2 stl.
Westbrook finished with his playoff career high of 43 pts, 20 for 32 from the field. He also had 7 reb and 5 ast.
Harden only finished with 8 pts on the night but he grabbed 10 rebs.

James finished with 26, his last 5 while laboring on the court with the leg cramps. 50% from the field. 9 reb, 12 ast.
Bosh had 13, also 50% from the field on the night. He had 9 reb.
DWade finished with 25. He had 2 from deep, had 5 reb, 3 ast, 2 blk, 2 stl. Stat sheet stuffer.
Chalmers also had 25, big game for him. He hit three open 3s from the arc w/ 2 reb, 3 ast, 2 stl.
The rookie, Norris Cole, played some big minutes for his rookie season in the finals after show Coach Spoelstra what he could do. He hit 3 from deep as well, 8 pts on the night.

4 or 5 plays… that’s what this series is coming down to… not much margin for error. – Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra

Game 5 of the Finals, AmericanAirlines Arena – Oklahoma City Thunder & The Miami Heat, 9PM on ABC!

XXII

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