NBA Finals Game 1 – Thunder Keep Rolling On As OKC Beat the Heat in Game 1
The Thunder and the Heat took the biggest floor of the NBA’s calendar year, as the two top teams of the league faced off for Game 1 of the 2012 NBA Finals. After a little less than a 50 day wait, the Finals are here. The Miami Heat took a trip to Oklahoma City to play the Thunder. Two driven teams, two big superstars. Let’s see how Game 1 went and who took the win.
The Oklahoma City thunder won the tip and started the game with the first possession. The first three possessions were a bust, but Shane Battier started Game 1 and the first bucket of the Finals with a three-point jump shot. The next play after, Kevin Durant made his first two-point bucket. With 5:52 minutes left in the first, Battier hit a three to push the Heat lead to seven. Chalmers hit a three of his own to put the Heat up by 10, but Russell Westbrook answered with a jumper of his own to bring the lead back down to eight. With 4:01 left to go, Dwyane Wade hit a beautiful turn around fade away. Chris Bosh hit a jumper from the free throw line and pushed the Heat lead to 11. The play after, Durant took it to the basket, made the shot and drew the foul for a potential and-one play. After the timeout, Durant converted the and-one and the Heat lead was brought back down to eight. After the free throw, Mario Chalmers hit another three and the lead was back to 11. Nick Collison took a pass and hit his shot from down low. James Harden held the ball for the final shot. After stumbling and losing his balance against Mario Chalmers’ defense, Harden hit the buzzer-beating jumper to bring the lead down to seven. At the end of the first quarter, the Heat led the Thunder by seven, 29-22.
In the first two minutes of the game, the Heat scored four, while the Thunder scored two. LeBron James was sent to the line with 9:48 left in the second quarter. He hit both of his free throws to put the Heat up by 11, 35-24. Daequan Cook got fouled, but missed both of his free throws. LeBron James stole the ball from a broken pass by Kevin Durant and James slammed it down with a trailing Kevin Durant. Serge Ibaka caught a pass from Durant and Ibaka put the ball in the basket and got fouled by LeBron James for a potential and-one. With a little less than seven minutes left in the second quarter, Derek Fisher pulls up a jumper and hits the bucket over Chris Bosh to cut the lead to nine. The Heat were forced to take a timeout to put a quick halt to the Thunder’s momentum. With 6:19 left to go, LeBron James attacked the basket, got in between two defenders and made the layup. With 4:39 left in the second, James Harden hits a three-ball of his own and cuts the Heat lead down to eight, 43-35. Shane Battier hit his own jumper to put the Heat back up by 10. Russell Westbrook got fouled on the next play, after getting fouled on the drive. Westbrook hit his two free throws and brought the Heat lead back down to eight. The Heat led the Thunder by 10 with 3:08 remaining. Durant drove down the middle and slammed it down for his 12th and 13th point and put the lead down to eight. Chris Bosh answered back from just behind the arc to put the Heat up by 11. At the end of the second quarter, the Heat led the Thunder by seven, 54-47. LeBron James scored 14 points, four rebounds, and two assists, as Kevin Durant scored 13 points, three rebounds, and two assists.
Third Quarter (quick breakdown)
The Thunder started the second half game strong scoring the first four points of the quarter. They were able to bring the lead down to three, 54-51. At one point of the game, the game was tied at 60. With 2:35 left to go in the third quarter, the Heat still led the Thunder by five, 71-66. Russell Westbrook hit a jumper to bring the lead down to three with less than a minute to go in the third period. Westbrook hit one of two free throws and the Heat lead was cut down to two. With 16.4 seconds left in the game, Westbrook tied up the game and drew the foul. He converted the and-one and the Thunder took the one point lead after three quarters, 74-73.
Again, like the third quarter, the Thunder started the fourth quarter strong as they scored the first four points of the game. Kevin Durant hit a straight hook shot to push the Thunder lead to six, 80-74. Dwyane Wade drove the ball to the basket, laid it up and it went in, as he drew the foul. He made the free throw to bring the lead down to three, 80-77 with 8:53 left in the final period. Kevin Durant went away with the ball and slammed it down for an easy dunk to push the lead up by five. Dwyane Wade finds Mario Chalmers for an easy bucket down on the block. Westbrook took his jump and it went down. With 6:29 left in the game, Kevin Durant hit a three point jumper to put the lead up to six. Chris Bosh answered back with a two point jumper. Durant came back to answer with his own shot and the Thunder lead the Heat by six. Kevin Durant hit another shot with 4:28 left in the game to push their lead by eight, 91-83. Russell Westbrook made a basket of his own to push the lead to 10, but Wade answered with a jump shot to cut the lead back to eight. Oklahoma City led the Heat by six with 2:29 left and Durant was sent to the line. Durant hit both free throws and the Thunder lead was back up to eight. Russell Westbrook kept the lead at eight with a drifting jumper. LeBron attacked the basket on the play after, made the shot, and drew the foul. LeBron made the free throw to bring the Thunder lead down to five with 1:30 left in the final period. Nick Collison slammed the ball down to bring the lead back up to seven. Bosh missed a jumper and Battier fouled Kevin Durant; that was Miami’s foul to give. Sefolosha was sent to the line after Miami was called for an over the back foul. Sefolosha made both of his free throws and put the Thunder up by nine. With 36 seconds left, Wade turned the ball over which led to a dunk made by Nick Collison and the Thunder lead was 11. Kevin Durant sealed the game with his two free throws. The Heat lose Game 1 to the Thunder by 11, 105-94. The Thunder lead the NBA Finals series, 1-0.
Miami Heat Top Performers
Chris Bosh scored 10 points coming from the bench. Mario Chalmers scored 12 points on 5-7 shooting. Shane Battier scored 17 points on 6-9 shooting. Dwyane Wade recorded 19 points and 8 assists. LeBron James recorded 30 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals.
Oklahoma City Thunder Top Performers
Serge Ibaka scored 10 points on 5-10 shooting. Russell Westbrook recorded a double-double with 27 points and 11 assists; he added 8 rebounds to his stat line. Kevin Durant recorded 36 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 block.
What to Dwell On?
Will the Heat answer back with a win in Game 2 or will the Thunder celebrate the same outcome like Game 1?