Game 3 didn’t have the fast start Games 1 & 2 had but it ended with all the same excitement the last two games did. The storyline for tonight was you have to hit your free throws, free throws ended up being the deciding factor as OKC shot 15-24 while the Heat shot 31-35 from the free throw line. The reason why this is such a shocking stat is because the Thunder are a notoriously good free throw shooting team while the Heat are spotty in that area.
The Heat didn’t start as fast as they did in the first half for the previous two games, and the Thunder didn’t start out as slowly as they have either. This resulted in only a one-point lead for the Heat at halftime, and I’m sure you can guess how the Heat started the second half. If you said they started flat then you’re correct, it took the Heat the first six minutes of the half to put six points on the board. That wasn’t in part to the Heat not getting any points in the paint it was the lockdown D by OKC that forced Miami into taking jump shots. The Thunder then took the lead half way through the 3rd quarter getting it all the way to 10 pts at this time. Even though the Thunder found a way to extend the lead Kevin Durant was sitting on the bench for the remainder of the 3rd quarter with 4 fouls.
Going in to the 4th quarter the Heat had a two-point lead. The majority of the 4th quarter was a complete back and fourth between the two teams as they traded defensive stops and baskets. A late turnover by Dwyane Wade made the game very interesting with 1:58 left on the clock where Thabo Sefolosha picked Wade’s pocket clean to put the Thunder within three. From there on the Thunder failed to capitalize as the Heat would go on to seal the deal with clutch free throw shooting going on to win 91-85.
The Thunder may have another gripe with the refs as late fouls were not called, but regardless of who you’re rooting for Heat or Thunder the calls are iffy both ways. The refs calls are taking away from this series either they need to keep the calls consistent or let the players play, but I digress. Check the stats below and tune into Game 4 Tuesday night at 9:00 PM ET over on ABC.
LeBron James – 29 points, 14 rebounds
Dwyane Wade – 25 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists
Chris Bosh – 10 points, 11 Rebounds
Oklahoma City Thunder
Kevin Durant – 25 points, 6 rebounds
Russell Westbrook – 19 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists
Kendrick Perkins – 10 points, 12 rebounds
-John McAuliffe (@John_Mac310)