A lot of people will complain about the officiating or the fact that Kendrick Perkins played 18 more minutes than he should have played. (He played 18 minutes). However, it wasn’t any of that tonight. Tonight it was the start of the ball game, in which the Oklahoma City Thunder fell behind 18-2 to start the game. They finished shooting just 25%, but fought back valiantly. However, it just wasn’t meant to be tonight. The Thunder fell to the Heat 100-96 in Game 2 of the NBA Finals.
The first quarter is what nightmares was made of. The Thunder shot 5-of-20 in the first quarter, and could never recover. The Heat scored the first five points of the game. Oklahoma City tried to fight back, finding Kevin Durant on a screen, making it 5-2. However, the 13-0 run, really just put Oklahoma City in a hole.
The Thunder were in trouble from the beginning. Even after the end of the first quarter, trailing just 27-15. Durant and Russell Westbrook were sitting on the bench with two fouls each of them. It really dictated the play of the game.
James Harden came in and lit a fire under the Thunder. He was basically the only Thunder offense for the first quarter. In fact, Harden had 14 of the first 25 points for the Thunder. Harden finished with 17 points in the first quarter. However, as much as he played in the third quarter, and early part of the fourth quarter. He didn’t attempt his first shot in second half until 7:45 left in the fourth quarter.
It seemed like every time the Thunder made a run, the Miami Heat had an answer. For most of the game, that answer was Lebron James, Shane Battier and Dwayne Wade. Those three combined for 73 points. Battier was lights out tonight with 17 points, which came to a culmination in the fourth quarter as he banked in a three-point shot, giving the Heat a five point lead.
Hard to believe that going into the fourth quarter, Oklahoma City trailed by only 11 points heading into the fourth quarter at 78-67.
With all the Thunder have faced throughout this game. The inconsistent officiating, the bad decisions by the coach and poor shooting, they made their run in the early in the fourth quarter. With 8:51 remaining, the Thunder trailed 81-69, and it was very gloomy for the Thunder. Durant took over. He scored seven of the next nine points, cutting it down to 85-78 with 6:28 remaining.
The Heat pushed the lead back to seven points at 90-83 on a crazy bank shot three-pointer from Shane Battier, and still looked bleak for Oklahoma City. Until, Westbrook found Durant in the corner, and he nailed the three.
The ‘Peake was going wild as Oklahoma City cut the lead to 90-86 with 4:50 remaining.
With the building rocking and the visiting on their heels, the Heat found a way to give themselves the 98-91 lead with 53 seconds left to go. It almost felt like the building’s energy had been let out. Very quiet.
Westbrook brought it back.
Westbrook took the ball baseline, scoring quickly, cutting it to a five point game. Then, Derek Fisher poked the ball free, freeing up Durant for three from the wing, and BOOM! Just like that 98-96 with 37 seconds left to go. Oklahoma City had their chance after a James missed three point shot. The Thunder grabbed the rebound, and called a time out.
With 12 seconds left to go, Oklahoma City had a chance to tie the game, but Durant missed a runner shot on the baseline with seven seconds. The Heat rebounded, and were able to sink free throws, sealing the win. Who sunk those free throws? Lebron James. He was actually well in the clutch tonight, despite his missed three.
It was definitely the Kevin Durant show tonight. However, just wasn’t enough after a sluggish first quarter. Oklahoma City is now tied in the series with the Heat 1-1. Going to South Beatch with Home court advantage now in favor of the Heat.
Good First Half: F
Do I REALLY need to go into detail here? It was bad. It was poor. No energy, idiot decisions and missed shots. That said, I don’t think the shot selection was bad. They just weren’t falling. Really need to stop this if we want to win a world championship.
They really struggled to distribute the ball. Only 14 assists tonight. No wonder we took so many isolation jump shots. I was however, really impressed with a lot of the ball movement at times. That’s why we didn’t get a full grade F here. There was some light at the end of the tunnel.
James Harden: B
B? Why just a B?! Did you not see him?! I did. He was awesome in the first half, and without him I don’t know how bad the Thunder would have gotten kicked in the first half. However, he wasn’t very efficient in the second half. At times, it really looked like he was out of control and it bit him. He had 3 turnovers in the second half, and only accounting for 4 points.
- What is going on in the first half? Are we under estimating the Heat’s defense, or what? Happened Tuesday, and it happened tonight. I don’t know about you, but I realize the Heat got to the NBA Finals by beating a bunch of pretty good teams. They may not have beat the “best team in the NBA” in the San Antonio Spurs. However, they have great defense and two of the best players in the world. Quit taking them so lightly.
- I said it on twitter, and caught a lot of flack. Officiating didn’t cost us this game. Falling behind 18-2 did. When you’re down 16 points and you’re only six minutes in, you’re doing nothing but playing catch up the entire game. Oklahoma City could never catch up. They got within two points, and Durant missed.. To my next point.
- Yeah, I think he was fouled. I also think Durant got away with a charge when the official signaled it as a blocking foul. Best decision would have been a no call. (Oklahoma City’s grabbed the ball, would have been Oklahoma City’s points). Bad calls were made all around. To use the the officials as an excuse why Oklahoma City lost this game is ignoring most of what really happened in this game.
- All that negativity comes to this: Kevin Durant is a bad ass among bad asses. Even his bad games make you think, “Wow, I’m watching history in the making.” He took over in the second half, and at one point he was 7-of-7 in the second half.
- I was stressed and close to cardiac arrest when Durant picked up his fifth foul early in the fourth quarter. That said, I applaud Coach Brooks for sticking it with him. He really allowed his super star to live on the edge, and it was successful.
- However, the way Brooks handled the Nick Collison minutes was an absolute nightmare. Collison was +8 in 15 minutes while Kendrick Perkins was -18 in 20 game minutes.
- Brooks needs to realize that Kendrick Perkins is getting destroyed this series. Does their need to be a starting move? Yes. If not, give Nick Collison start minutes. Perkins is getting beat, and isn’t an offensive threat. At least Collison can score more when he is taking shots. Not to mention, isn’t prone to traveling.
- I’m not saying get rid of Perkins all together. No way. Just limit his minutes in this series. He’s really just killing Oklahoma City.
- Eric Spoelstra waited until it was too late last Finals to change his line up to fit the match up, will that happen to Scott Brooks? Sounds like it. However, dude knows what he’s doing. I’m going to put my full trust in him and go down fighting with his decisions. My favorite thing about him, is him admitting when he’s wrong.
- I could post a bunch of stats telling the story of this game, but doesn’t change the fact that this game was ultimately decided in the first quarter. Time to move on and Thunder Up in Miami!
Next Up: Game 3 in South Beach on Sunday!