For the second consecutive game, the Oklahoma City Thunder did themselves in with poor execution. This time, it was in the fourth quarter. Oklahoma City didn’t score for the final ??. The Thunder fell to the Miami Heat 91-85. The Heat took the 2-1 series lead, putting Oklahoma City’s back on the wall.
With the first quarter really being a reason of concern for the first two games, really wasn’t much of a concert. The Thunder came out grabbed their first first quarter lead of the series at 4-2 early on. Miami would push it up to 10-4 before the Thunder got their wheels back underneath. The heat did pull away towards the end, but after the dust settled it was just 26-20 in favor of Miami. Personally, wasn’t too bad. The Heat got everything they wanted at the rim, and for all things considered, Oklahoma City was just fine where they were.
The second quarter was a big flurry of Oklahoma City runs. The Thunder had two runs, one of 9-1 and another of 10-3. At one point, the Thunder had outscored the Heat 21-12 int he quarter. However, the Heat made a little run behind back-to-back threes by Shane Battier, pushed their lead back up to 43-47. Leave it to Russell Westbrook though, Westbrook hit a wild three pointer with three seconds to go, to cut it 47-46 at halftime.
Early in the third quarter, Oklahoma City was running on the Heat, and pushing a lead in their favor. Oklahoma City reached their pinnacle at 64-54 with 4:33 left in the quarter. Miami went on a run of their own. They closed out the quarter on a 15-3 to end it. Didn’t help that with five minutes to go, Durant picked up his fourth foul. Westbrook was benched for his erratic play.
The Thunder had grabbed their last lead at 77-76 on James Harden’s basket with 7:32 left. Miami would answered with two free throws about 20 seconds later. The Thunder would never lead again.
Was there another come back in the Thunder after falling back 86-79 with 2:18 remaining. There was. First it was a Kendrick Perkins nailing two free throws, which is a rare thing tonight. Then Thabo Sefolosha stole the ball from Dwayne Wade. Leave it to the Honey Badger, Westbrook, to hit the jumper. 45 seconds later, Oklahoma City had cut it to a one point ball game.
Oklahoma City would not score again.
It all boiled down to miss free throws. The Thunder missed nine free throws, and lost by six points. They had their opportunities but couldn’t hit the. Even Kevin Durant missed two straight free throw attempts. There was a stat put on twitter. Odds of Kevin Durant (87.8% lifetime) missing 6 of last 14 free throws? 240 to 1 against!
Post Game Grades
Good First Quarter: B-
They were pretty solid for the most part. Got down 8 and 6… and yadda yadda. Still wasn’t a great quarter. Only reason they’re even getting a B here and not a C is because they weren’t down double digits. I cannot explain why Oklahoma City can’t really get it going in the first quarter. However, they need to or this series can really get ugly, quick.
11 assists. That’s it. Westbrook had that by himself in Game 1. Some were shots not falling, and a lot were just isolated jump shots with little or no ball movement. The difference from Game 1 to Game 3 is ball movement. Meaning, there is zero of it now. Oklahoma City really stayed with it then and have gotten away from it. Need to find a way to move the ball around, getting their shooters open.
Scott Brooks: C
I wasn’t impressed at all. I felt with bench Westbrook in the third quarter really killed all momentum Oklahoma City had at that point. I also feel that he played Derek Fisher too long, but and Serge Ibaka not enough. If Ibaka is TRULY the second best defender in the NBA, then there is ZERO reason why he played so little.
- I’ll address the officiating really quick. It sucks. I can admit it. I just admit it goes both ways. Joey Crawford is just horrible to watch. No one likes having him. Both teams complained throughout the game about him. Even Capers wasn’t a pleasure to have, because he cost each team points throughout the game (Capers is the one who kept changing his mind on the Fisher three).
- Kevin Durant going to the bench with 5 minutes to go in the third quarter changed this game for the worst. Then to add insult to injury, Westbrook sat out and the Miami Heat with James and Wade on the court really just went to work.
- The Thunder missed seven free throws in the second half. SEVEN!!! They were outscored in the second half by five points. Even the great one, Durant, missed two. Oklahoma City has to hit their free throws. They’ve lost two games by a total of 10 points. They’ve missed 16 free throws. Enough said. This series really could be over if they would JUST hit their free throws.
- The heat turned the ball over nine times in the fourth quarter, and Oklahoma City only came away with five points. Both teams tried to throw the game away, and the Heat were the ones who did it less, I guess.
- I don’t think we’ve found out who the better team is yet. I think the Heat have just made less mistakes than the Thunder. I personally think Oklahoma City is the better team, slightly.
- What’s really over looked is the Thunder three-point shooting tonight. Just deplorable. Oklahoma City was 4-for-22 from three-point range for an abysmal 22.2 percent.
- Kendrick Perkins had a double-double tonight. Which is pretty good for him. 10 points, 12 rebounds. We usually win games when he has double-doubles. I’m almost inclined to say this might be the first ever loss when he has one. I’ll do the research later. I’ll edit and post it up on social media if I’m wrong.
- The Beard was not in the building tonight. He was Road Harden. 2-for-10, and 0-for-4 from three-point range. He got beat left and right on the defensive end, and offensively he was just very average. He did, however, have 9 points, 6 assists and 6 rebounds. For Oklahoma City to win the world championship, he has to be more involved and actually worth a damn.
- Shane Battier won’t win the MVP, but in my opinion, he’s the closest thing to one. He’s 11-for-15 from three-point range. He has a true shooting percentage of 101.4 percent. Which, if you don’t know advance stats, is almost out of this world. Lebron and Durant are somewhere around 70 percent for their true shooting percentages.
- Not over. Not by a long shot. Durant believes it. You can tell it in his voice. Remember last year, the Miami Heat led 2-1 over Dallas, before dropping three straight.
Next Up: Tuesday for Game 4 in Miami. Also, we’ll be having our Watch Party!