Miami Drives To A Game 3 Win; The Thunder Can’t Find The Answer Down The Stretch

By: 06.17.12
Chris Bosh

Chris Bosh (photo. Nike Basketball)

These NBA Finals have twisted the narrative and archetypes we thought we knew going in like a double helix. We thought the notions of what the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder are were entangled deeply within them just like a strand of DNA. The pressure-cooker of these Finals has changed those so far. Miami has a 2-1 lead after the 91-85 win Sunday night at home, the first of its three there. Dwyane Wade (25 points, 7 and 7), Chris Bosh (10 points, 11 boards) and LeBron James (29 points, 14 boards) combined to score the final 15 points for Miami, which brought this thing back from the brink of a nine-point deficit. While most everyone was taking a second crack at how wide LBJ’s headband was, he was helping close the Game 3 door. They weren’t supposed to be able to do this “close” thing, but it’s two in a row. Meanwhile, OKC was that young, self-assured, smart-beyond-their-years bunch. Instead late they missed free throws (nine overall misses) and made a crucial turnover down four in the final seconds — a stretch begotten by the way they allowed Miami to come back all night. Talk to us earlier in the fourth, though, and it all could have been backward as the Thunder’s comeback was cooking with fire. Let’s make this series best of 11. … Miami got 10 buckets at the rim in the first quarter with just one jump shot. Oklahoma City’s defense is never in a top three of its talking points, but that was horrific interior defense. James Harden (9 points on 2-of-10 shooting) had a nightmare trying to defend James, unable to hold him as he cut from block to block. Thabo Sefolosha (6 points, a surprising -11 PER) didn’t have an answer to stop a 10-foot hop step in transition. Bottom line: 10 of his first 12 points were in the paint. Porous would have been a generous term for that defense. By the end of the first half the Heat were just 3-of-22 from outside the no-charge zone under the cup. … On the other hand, Kendrick “Scowl” Perkins had as many points (6 — he’d finish with 10 points, 12 boards) as Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant (25 points) at the second quarter’s first ad break. … You guys also see Mike Miller (4 points in 7 minutes) block Durant’s shot, or was that just us? … Shane Battier isn’t just hitting the corner threes anymore; Battier is now calling for the rock coming off screens from 25 feet. We wouldn’t usually prescribe that but he’s unquestionably feeling it. He drilled a triple to tie the game with 22 seconds left in the first half after hitting his only other shot of the half a minute and a half earlier, also from three. … Jeff Van Gundy said Westbrook (19 points, 8-of-18 shots) reminds him of a young Steve Francis. Talk about awakening the echoes. But while JVG tried to change Francis’ attack-first mentality, he loves how Scott Brooks hasn’t done that with Westbrook. This is like the criticism of Rajon Rondo. He can’t shoot the jumper consistently, so he sucks, right? Freak athlete Westbrook doesn’t curb his shooting but that doesn’t mean he can’t recognize situations when he needs to switch it up and dish it out.  He’s a work in progress, but what’s already there is more finished than almost any other point in the league. … Hit the jump to read about Sefolosha’s bizarre last seconds.

Around The Web

Featured

Chris Hardwick Talks ‘Funcomfortable,’ His Dad’s Personal Mantra, And Keeping A Crazy Schedule

Is There More To The Adam Walsh Story?

Stand-Up Comedy Scared The Hell Out Of Me, So I Decided To Give It A Shot

W. Kamau Bell On Joking With The KKK For CNN And Quoting Malcolm X In His New Special

Chef Jonathan Bennett Shares His Fourteen ‘Can’t Miss’ Food Experiences In Cleveland, Ohio

Jen Kirkman Talking About Her New Book Will Make You Want To Write Your Own

Your Travel Guide To Every ‘Archer’ Location On The Planet

Drifters Take Note: This Couple Has Crucial Advice For Long-Term Travelers

‘Rad’ Star Bill Allen Looks Back On Helltrack And That Iconic BMX Prom Scene, 30 Years Later

Key And Peele Talk About ‘Keanu,’ Why Cats Are Funny, And What They’ll Do If Fame Doesn’t Work Out

Meet Christine Sun Kim — The Sound Artist Who’s Changing The Way We Listen

Presented By
The All-New Prius

UPROXX 20: Jon Lajoie Wishes He Could Go Back In Time To Buy Netflix Stock, Just Like You