Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Game 1 - Fourth Quarter Flair

Kevin Durant led the Oklahoma City Thunder with 17 points... in the fourth quarter. He maneuvered his lean lanky frame with grace and eloquence through the lane and exhibited an array of classy finger rolls, combative dunks, and smooth jumpers. Durant totaled 36 for the game, 4 assists, 8 rebounds and was the primary reason for the Thunder's Game 1 victory.

Russell Westbrook- who had 27 points, 11 assists, and 8 rebounds- was also clutch in the fourth quarter. He only made ten field goals on 24 shots, but helped energize the Thunder in the second half. Thabo Sefolosha played excellent defense and actually got more minutes on the floor than did James Harden. Nick Collison was superb as well in a supporting role.

The Miami Heat got off to a quick start. The Heat took a 29-22 lead into the second quarter. Shane Battier got hot from three-point range and ended with 17 points. He was all over Durant for much of the game, but KD was too long and proficient. LeBron James, who scored 30 with 9 rebounds, led the Heat to a seven point halftime lead.

But Miami couldn't match the Thunder's energy in the second half. The Thunder foraged for loose balls the way a rabid fox does for food.. That turned the tide. Oklahoma City took the lead by the end of the third quarter and ran away with the game in the fourth. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh shot a combined 11-30 from the field. Wade had 19 points and Bosh scored just 10. Mario Chalmers was 5-7 from the field for 12 points and 6 assists, continuing his strong play in his Finals career.

But Durant, Westbrook, Sefolosha, Collison, and veteran Derek Fisher played as a team while Miami settled for too many outside jumpers. The Thunder won 105-94 and took a 1-0 series lead.

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