It is hard to believe this was five years ago but it was. Oklahoma City beat the pants off future NBA Champions, the Miami Heat 104-93 to take a 1-0 series lead in the 2012 NBA Finals. This is an epic day in Thunder history.
The Heat were able to keep the Thunder at arm’s length for the entire first half. Any time Oklahoma City seemed to have a run in them, Miami would extend the lead. The Heat kept going small all game long. In the first half, the Thunder didn’t adjust to it. Turning the ball over and taking bad, contested jump shots. Oklahoma City were down 50-39 with 2:42 left in the half.
Then something clicked with the Thunder. They finished 5-of-5 for the rest of thee half. Serge Ibaka came in scoring six of the 10 points, cutting lead to just a 7-point deficit at halftime at 54-47.
The Thunder ended the third quarter on the 8-2 run, pushing them to the 74-73 lead. It was their first lead of the game, a lead they would never relinquish.
The euphoria from coming from that win is hard to be repeated. Russell Westbrook was amazing and so was that other guy. Oklahoma City used a dominating second half to beat Miami and gave us too much hope that we’re still a little hurt from it all.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE GAME
- Russell Westbrook is the 1st player with at least 25 points, 8 rebounds and 10 assists in an NBA Finals game since Charles Barkley in 1993. LeBron James has since topped this a couple of times.
- Kevin Durant scored 36 points in his NBA Finals debut. Since the ABA-NBA merger, only Allen Iverson (48) scored more in a NBA Finals debut.
- Oklahoma City outscored Miami 56-40 in the paint. While the Heat settled from jump shots, Oklahoma City was busy getting to the rim, and that was huge tonight.
- I still think Daequan Cook should be playing more.
- The Thunder outscored the Heat on the fast break 24-4
- I’d love to point out at this point, Oklahoma City was 6-0 when having more than 20 assists in the playoffs. Oklahoma City would not hit 20 assists the rest of the series.
- LeBron James scored 17 of his 30 points on 58 percent shooting vs Kevin Durant, but was held to 7 points on 29 percent vs. Thabo Sefolosha.