The Miami Heat are two wins away from the NBA title following their 91-85 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder last night to take a 2-1 series lead. The game started out much better for the Thunder, not having to come back from a huge deficit early on. In fact, they grabbed a quick 4-2 lead, which gave them their first lead in the first half in the NBA Finals. It was close at half with the Heat up 47-46. But once again, foul trouble plagued the Thunder. They had a ten point lead in the third quarter, but with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook on the bench, the Thunder could not keep the lead. The Heat had several scoring runs, and the Thunder just couldn’t respond with their own streaks.
Like the previous two games, Game 3 was decided by free throws. The Heat are making almost all of theirs ( 31 for 35), whereas the Thunder struggled (15 for 24). Durant missed a pair of free throws in the fourth that could have given the Thunder the lead. The Thunder are normally a very good free throw shooting team, so this is very uncharacteristic for them. And it is costing them this series.
The Heat are attacking the paint and LeBron James is leading the way. The Heat couldn’t buy a jumpshot at all this game, but they were able to get in and score points in the paint. Why LeBron tries to shoot jump shots is puzzling when he is so physically gifted and so strong. Why doesn’t he just drive in every time he touches the ball and either dish or shoot a layup and possibly get fouled? I don’t get it. He’s done that the last two games and it has worked. Keep it up.
And finally for the Thunder, can someone please find James Harden, wake him up, and tell him the NBA Finals have started? He has been terrible in this series. It’s almost like he’s holding the Thunder back. Wasn’t he winner of the sixth man of the year this year? He should give it back. Nine points last night on two for ten shooting, including zero for four from three. Yes, he did have six rebounds and six assists, but that’s not good enough. He needs to knock down some shots and help his team win a game. I’m starting to doubt more and more that the Thunder will win another game in this series. The jump shots have to fall, they have got to hang onto leads when they have them, and they can’t commit silly mistakes.
Game four is Tuesday night in Miami 9:00 PM ET on ABC.