What’s with all the boxing poses from both teams prior to tip-off? Nevermind, tip-off is here.
- Miami win the tip. No changes to either sides starting lineups. Chris Bosh misses a long jumper on the game’s first possession. Oklahoma miss on the other end too. It was a drive and kick from Westbrook to Thabo in the right corner for a three.
- Oh beautiful bullet pass by Wade to Bosh as he pulls the help defender on the high PnR wide to the right side of the court and finds Bosh cutting to the rim. Battier had pulled Ibaka to the three point line to leave acres of space for Bosh.
- Oklahoma take a 4-2 lead as Perk slams home Westbrook’s missed layup in transition.
- Chalmers caught in the left corner with 5 seconds on the shot clock, Westbrook on him, jab step, jumper, swatted by Westbrook. Great defense. Chalmers never looked comfortable in his attempt to attack Westbrook out of the corner.
- Nice post up by Durant, left block, about 12-13 feet out, backs down Battier easily, turns middle, fallaway, Battier contests but Durant’s length still gets him a good look, misses. Good percentage shot. Oklahoma should keep going to that.
- Miami clearout the right hand side of the court, PnR with Wade and Bosh, bounce pass, slam dunk! Beautiful basketball.
- Dwyane Wade gets his second layup in transition. He has had two nice passes also. Played a hand in all four Miami hoops. Now tries his hand at a spinning drive and flip shot in the paint, misses, rebound LeBron in a crowd (against Ibaka, Durant and Thabo), scores the putback. Timeout Oklahoma. Durant and Westbrook are scoreless so far.
- Miami leads 10-4 after five minutes
- Tough shot by Westbrook who knocks down a dribble drive pull up jumper on the left baseline from 14 feet against a strong contest from Wade.
- LeBron James takes an ugly looking step back three out of the corner. That step back move took him off balance, was never squared up to the basket.
- Perk scores in a post up on the left block. Right handed jump-hook.
- LeBron James bags a face up jumper from 18 feet over Durant. Still looks uncomfortable shooting against Durant’s length.
- Ibaka hits the short jump shot from 10 feet in the middle of the paint. Nice find from Harden to set him up for the clean look.
- 12-10 Miami after seven minutes, make that 12-12 as Durant knocks down a long two point jumper from the top of the key.
- The Wade-Bosh connection strikes again as Bosh rolls to the rim for a layup. Offensive rebound Wade, Miami reset it, defense sleeping, LeBron cuts backdoor, Wade finds him, layup. Lovely. 16-12 Miami.
- Make that 16-14 as Westbrook knocks down another midrange jumper. Westbrook has become a very dangerous midrange jump-shooter. I’m not sure if there is any point guard who uses that midrange jumper as well he does. That 14-19 foot jumper.
- Durant with the drive and finish. Soars for a baseline dunk. One dribble from the three point line and he is dunking, wow. Such a tough cover defensively.
- Bosh blows by Collison and takes a lefty flip shot which rolls off the rim, Mike Miller crashes the offensive glass and taps back in the miss. Basket. Terrific play from Miller. The score is 20-16, 20-18 after two Westbrook FTs.
- Final 80 seconds
- Harden covering LeBron. LeBron posts up left side, ball reversal, LeBron flashes to the right block, Harden has to foul him prior to the catch. This is a really bad matchup for OKC. They need to keep Durant or Sefolosha in there at all times on LeBron.
- Mike Miller fouled on an off-the-ball cut and makes two FTs (they were in the penalty). Miller tries to draw a charge on the other end (a Harden-Collison PnR) but doesn’t make it there on time. Collison misses the FTs. Next possession, LeBron powers to the rim and hits the driving layup (great strong jump-stop to deny Collison the space to contest the shot). Six point game.
- Harden doesn’t make it to the rim in time to get off his shot-attempt. End of one.
- ESPN just showed a graphic that showed 10 of Miami’s 11 first quarter baskets came in the paint. The lone jump-shot was LeBron’s face up jumper over Durant.
- Miami lead 26-20
- Skip ahead a few minuets … The score is 30-27 Miami after James Harden gets an and-one layup in transition. About two and a half minutes into the second quarter.
- A few moments ago, Nick Collison left the court with foul trouble as Perkins came back in for him. So OKC has Perk-Ibaka-Thabo-Fisher and Harden while Miami has Bosh-Haslem-M.Miller-Wade-N.Cole. No much offense on the floor for Oklahoma. This could be an important few minutes for them while Durant and Westbrook rest. Good chance for Miami to get some separation on the scoreboard.
- Chalmers takes a three pointer off of Bosh’s hand off. Nice closeout by Perk to contest the shot. Chalmers’ defender was caught in an initial screen off the ball.
- Westbrook scores off a post up over Chalmers. Good for OKC to get him back on the floor. He came in for Thabo. Gives them more balance offensively. Next possession, posts up again, turnaround jumper, goes glass from left side, rims out.
- Terrific offensive rebound by Bosh over Perkins. Long high rebound. Bosh hustles and uses his out-stretched hands to rips it down. Nice rebound. Next shot attempt, LeBron misses in the paint after Wade found him on a cut, offensive rebound again, fouled. Oklahoma giving Miami too many chances on that trip up the court. LeBron makes one of two FTs.
- High PnR Westbrook and Durant, gets the switch, Wade on Durant, clearout, top of the key, drives left, spins back right, turnaround jumper from the left elbow, knocks it down.
- Durant’s pass in transition picked off by Chalmers, pass to LeBron, long outlet to Wade who had leaked out, layup. First field goal for Miami since the beginning of the quarter. Miami lead 33-31 at the midway point in the second quarter. Timeout.
- Perkins strips Bosh on his move to the rim, Wade picks up the loose ball, layup. Extra effort by Wade. Giving his team a major lift tonight.
- Oh my, Fisher with a rainbow three pointer out of the left corner. One point game.
- Chalmers gets a great look from the corner on the opposite end, rims in and out.
- Perkins makes two FTs give OKC a one point lead after he gets the high kind bounce on the second FT. He has 8 first half points. Oklahoma dominating this second quarter. On a 14-5 run. Shutting down Miami’s offense. Just forced a 24 second violation.
- Excellent closeout and shot contest by Bosh in the corner to bother Harden’s shot, well short, fastbreak the other way, LeBron with the hand off to the baseline cutting Wade, layup and-one.
- Durant knocks down a top of the key three pointer as the shot clock ticked down.
- Wade posts up, dribbles out, spins back the other way, loses Harden, flip shot, miss. Fastbreak Oklahoma, Harden to the rim, misses. On the other end, a baseline drive and layup from Wade, misses. Fastbreak three pointer left wing OKC, misses. Timeout Miami. Wow, lots of opportunities there with neither team capitalizing.
- Durant blocks James’ leaner off the post up to force a second 24 second shot clock violation. Good help by Fisher on the baseline to look for the charge to give Durant the chance to block the shot.
- Durant iso left wing against Wade, backs him down, turns into the paint, turnaround shot, good. I love that shot from Durant.
- Shane Battier bags his first three pointer (left wing) of the game. Tie game at 41 with 90 seconds left in the half.
- Terrific dribble into the post, turnaround and knock down the jumper move from 12 feet by Westbrook. Early offense there.
- Oh my, Battier with his second three inside of a minute from the top of the key this time. Miami lead 47-43.
- Final possession, Westbrook dribbles it down, Ibaka PnR, Westbrook right wing triple, knocks it down! One point game. 47-46 Miami.
I like the energy and focus from Miami’s three stars. I think they are looking good. Need to get some more spot-up shooting in the second half but they are looking solid.
I think Oklahoma needs to get more out of Harden. He was too quiet. There is too much pressure on Durant/Westbrook to create offensively. They need some more help. It’ll be hard to match Miami’s effort by themselves. Someone needs to step up and give them more of a lift offensively and it should be Harden. He is the best man for the job.
- The score is 47-46 Miami
- Dwyane Wade baits Sefolosha into a foul with the pump fake off the change of direction and hard dribble pull up.
- Miami with a 26-19 advantage on the boards. Oklahoma cannot win this series if they lose the battle of the boards. They must out-rebound Miami.
- Kevin Durant drives left, pull up jumper going left from 13 feet, hits it. Durant has 15 points but just picked up his third foul. Needs to be careful not to pickup another one here in the third.
- LeBron turns down an open three pointer late in the shot clock and forces Bosh into a contested fallaway jumper from 20 feet off the dribble against Perkins’ length. Miss. Gotta take that open shot that late in the shot-clock. Gotta take it.
- Oh me, oh my, Westbrook with the alley-oop to Sefolosha on the fastbreak, slam dunk! Oklahoma up 52-49 three minutes into the third.
- Westbrook pick and pop with Ibaka, one step above the right elbow, knocks it down. It gives OKC such a big lift when Ibaka makes a few of those midrange to long range two point jumpers.
- Miami taking a lot of 15-17 foot jumpers here. Oklahoma doing a great job of taking away the paint.
- Westbrook doing a Rondo-impression with the behind the back fake, blow by and layup. Timeout Miami. Oklahoma on a 10-2 run over the last three minutes.
- Durant deflects the pass to Bosh, Sefolosha grabs the loose ball, leads the break, nobody stops the ball, too worried about the guys filling the lanes (Durant and Westbrook), Thabo takes it to the rim, misses, Durant taps it up and in. On the other end, Miami fumble it out bounds and turn it over again. This would be a big possession if OKC could score again and they do. Durant, top of the key, drives right, pull up jumper over the help defender, bank shot, hits it. 6th straight possession OKC have scored on. Next possession, Chalmers takes it hard to the rim, Ibaka from the weakside swats it out of there. Oklahoma come back up the other end but Westbrook out of control turns it over and it leads to a Wade fastbreak layup. That may have halted the momentum.
- Westbrook settles for a 22 footer off the dribble from the top of the key, misses, rebound Miami, Wade drives to the rim and draws the 4th foul on Durant. That is a momentum killer. Ticky tack call. Minimal contact.
- 60-54 Oklahoma with 5:30 to play
- Westbrook forcing it late in the shot clock, finally finds a way into the paint and flips up the runner, misses. Pounded the life out of the ball on that play. Next possession, transition opportunity, Westbrook to the rim, charge, turnover. Four straight bad possessions from Westbrook on offense. I’d love to see Harden get more of the ball here. They need his composure and decision making.
- LeBron passing up a long jumper again leading to another harder contested jumper from Bosh, again, missing again.
- Good read by Harden on the PnR to find Fisher on the weakside spotting up on the right wing for a three. He hits it and draws the foul. Oklahoma up 10 (64-54). Massive basket by Fisher. They badly needed someone to come up with a big play here. Looking vulnerable with Westbrook playing hero-ball and Durant sitting on the bench. Hopefully, this will calm the team.
- LeBron posts up left elbow, sweeps, hops into the lane, jump hook, hits it.
- Harden wheeling into the paint, looks for the lob pass to Ibaka, too high, but Ibaka keeps control of it, goes back up, hammered. Misses the first FT badly. Makes the second.
- Perk had a big offensive rebound moments earlier and drew the foul. Perk has 8 points and 11 boards now. Doing very well defensively since the first quarter also. Perk is having a big game.
- Ah, bad foul by Ibaka, jumped into Battier on a corner three. Three FTs. Makes ’em.
- Oklahoma lead 65-59 with three minutes and some change to go in the third.
- Sefolosha bricks an early jump shot and aw no … Fisher fouls J.Jones in the same corner as Ibaka fouled Battier. Dumb foul. Back-to-back stupid fouls by Oklahoma gifting Miami 6 easy points. The score is 65-62.
- Harden with a crafty hesitation dribble and crossover to beat Battier, extends his arms through the help and draws the foul. Harden makes two FTs. I feel good when Harden is touching the basketball. Reliable decision maker.
- Oklahoma have gone small. One big with Collison, Thabo at PF, Harden at SF with Cook and Fisher in the backcourt. Miami have Haslem, Battier, Jones, Wade and Chalmers. Thabo is on Wade.
- Turnover Miami, stolen by Harden, footrace with Haslem, Harden to the basket, fouled to avoid the dunk. Great job by Harden playing the passing lanes on Wade’s drive to create that steal.
- Nice spin move and finish in the paint by Wade off the drive.
- Harden has a jump shot rim in and out, Wade leaks out, outlet pass, Wade to the rim, Harden chases him down and fouls to avoid the easy dunk for Wade. Two FTs, good. One point game.
- Oklahoma were up 6 when Durant went to the bench. Upped the lead to 10 after Fisher’s three pointer and-one but have now seen the lead evaporate to a one point game.
- Miami ball, Wade wants the iso against Harden, gets nothing, gets the ball back after giving it up, tries again, drives, finds James for three in the left sideline, good!
- Daequan Cook misses a good look from the left corner, rebound Miami. LeBron drives into the paint, floater in the lane, rolls out. Oklahoma hold it for the final possession. Harden dribbles into a three, misses, long rebound, back to Harden, again, misses again. 1-8 from the field, James Harden. End of three.
- Miami lead 69-67
- Westbrook back in. Hopefully, he won’t go back to that hero-ball crap he was doing before he was taken out. As much as Harden is struggling to score right now, I still feel more comfortable with the ball in his hands making decisions. Oh Durant is in too. And they have him on James Jones. Miami should try and force a few switches here and get Durant on Wade or LeBron.
- Both teams trade baskets and then Miami gets called for their third 24 second shot clock violation of the night. Turnover. 90 seconds into the fourth.
- Fisher misses the right corner three. Nice pass by Durant to set that up as Fisher flared to the corner. Unfortunately for OKC, James Jones doesn’t miss his three pointer. Nice extra pass by Chalmers.
- Haslem rejects Fisher at the basket, fastbreak the other way, noo … aghh, Haslem with an offensive foul. Turnover. Wasted opportunity. Third turnover in four possessions from Miami.
- Bosh – LeBron – J.Jones – Wade – Chalmers
- Collison – Durant – Harden – Westbrook – Fisher
- Harden stuck on LeBron, post up, LeBron turns middle, forces a pass, stolen, Harden has it, finds Durant upcourt (lob pass), slam dunk! One point game. Timeout Spoelstra.
- Miami lead 74-73 with under 9 minutes to play
- Chalmers with a tough drive and layup. His first basket of the game. He was 0-6. LeBron got away with one there when his earlier pass off the miss hit the backboard. Surely, that should have been out of bounds.
- On the other end, Harden hits a pair of FTs.
- Westbrook strips Wade on his drive, turnover (5th of the quarter), upcourt to Harden, dribble drive, lefty finger roll, good! Oklahoma back up 1.
- LeBron drives into the paint and draws a foul on Nick Collison. Not sure how much wrong Collison did there. Scotty Brooks is very unhappy with that call. LeBron makes his FTs.
- Miami have their starting unit on the floor now. Oklahoma have Fisher, their big three and Collison.
- Chris Bosh blocks Durant’s runner on the drive, great block by Bosh, Collison grabs the loose ball, shoots, misses, shot clock violation again.
- LeBron backs down Harden again, Collison helps, Bosh left wide open in the paint, LeBron finds him but throws the pass too hard and high, turnover (6th). Oh my, next possession, an out of control Wade tries to save the ball but throws it to an Oklahoma player instead, 7th turnover.
- Durant has a three pointer rim in and out
- Midway point in the fourth quarter. Miami lead 78-77.
- LeBron iso against Harden, backs him down, gets deep, double late, LeBron takes a long jump backwards for the fadeaway and misses the shot. No idea why jumped so far back. He made the shot much harder for himself.
- Durant with the crossover, beats LeBron, down the middle of the paint, Bosh from the weakside, blocks the shot out of bounds off of Durant. Turnover. Five minutes.
- Wade, high PnR with Bosh, snakes into the lane, runner, fouled, good and the FT. Perk fouling there. Four point game.
- I do not like Oklahoma going back to Kendrick Perkins here. It should be Ibaka when Collison needs a breather.
- Harden throws a bad pass to Durant, out of bounds, turnover. Not close.
- 11 turnovers in the fourth quarter. 7 from Miami, 4 from OKC.
- Chris Bosh in the paint, great position, head faking, maneuvering, missing.
- LeBron strips Harden on his dribble drive late in the shot clock, turnover, fastbreak, ahead to James, to the rim, layup and the foul. FT good. 7 point game. Huge run here from Miami. Durant called for his 5th foul. He was late for the charge.
- 3:50 to play – 84-77 Miami.
- Timeout OKC. A 8-0 run from Miami over the last three and a half minutes.
- Inbounds from OKC to Westbrook, Durant off a Thabo screen, catch and shoot from right elbow, in and in. Friendly roll. Five point game.
- Wade dribbling up top, Bosh PnR, forced wide, takes a fallaway off the dribble (low percentage shot), misses, Bosh with the offensive rebound. LeBron runs the clock down. Wastes far too much time. Drive and kick, nothing on, Chalmers almost turns it over. Inbounds, 2.3 seconds, Bosh flails and tries to draw the foul, doesn’t get it, turnover. Another shot clock violation. That is the 4th or 5th of the night and their 8th turnover of the fourth quarter.
- Durant post up on Durant, should fake, spin move, up and under, misses. Rebound Miami, LeBron attacks early, takes it hard to the rim and dunks. Early offense.
- Westbrook with the dribble penetration, meets the help, finds Perkins, fouled. Perk needs to make these. He does.
- 2:07 — Miami lead 86-81
- Thabo deflects Wade’s dribble in the backcourt, Wade short of time now, Thabo hounding him, smacks it away, turnover, steal, Thabo to the rim, reverse layup on the opposite side of the rim. 9th turnover of the quarter from Miami. Huge play by Thabo.
- Miami dribble down the clock again and Wade misses a contested long two point jumper off the dribble, rebound OKC, Westbrook on the break, pushes it, pull up jumper from 15 feet, knocks it down! Oklahoma do a great job of attacking early late in games.
- Timeout Miami
- 1:30 — Miami lead 86-85
- PnR, LeBron and Bosh, high pass from LeBron to Bosh who is hammered. Two FTs. Bosh makes them. He has a double double now with 10 points and 11 boards. Three point game. Timeout OKC.
- 1:19 — Miami lead 88-85
- Same play for Durant, doubled, has to give it up, gets it back in a iso on the right wing, drive, ripped away, turnover. Miami bring it back up, high PnR, LeBron dribbles right, takes a fallaway J, misses. Oklahoma comes back up, 45 seconds, Westbrook can’t find anything on, gives it up, gets it back, takes a triple, misses. 30 seconds, Oklahoma aren’t going to foul, going for the steal, can’t get it, Harden called for a blocking foul with 16 seconds left (10 on the shot clock. LeBron to take two FTs, makes one. Timeout OKC.
- 16.2 seconds — Miami lead 89-85
- Inbounds, bad pass by Sefolosha as Westbrook changes his cut, Wade steals it, fouled. This is over. 13 seconds. Five point game. Six point game. This is over.
Very good win for Miami. It was a tough game with very little separating either side. These are the type of games that can decide a Championship and they won it.
Oklahoma will feel hard done by on Durant’s foul trouble which for the second straight game played a major role in the contest. I think they would have won this if Durant hadn’t of picked up that fourth foul when he did. They were on the rise and could have had some separation heading into the fourth.
Two Other Things
ESPN just showed a shot chart that said that Miami only made five shots outside of the paint all night long.
They were 5-31 outside of the paint, 23-41 inside the paint and 31-35 from the free throw line.
Amazing that they won a game in the NBA Finals while only making five shots outside of the lane. Incredible.
This really was a wasted opportunity for Oklahoma. The type of wasted opportunity that can cost you a playoff series.
The five shots — a LeBron face up J in the first, a pair of Battier threes late in the first half, a James Jones three and a LeBron three in the fourth.
Late Substitution – Kendrick Perkins
I didn’t like Perkins coming back in midway through the fourth. I thought Oklahoma’s defense was doing very well with Nick Collison in there. Perk is just too slow and gives Miami someone they can attack easily. Miami immediately went on that 8-0 run there and pulled away from Oklahoma.
I thought Scotty Brooks should have gone with Ibaka if Collison needed a breather. Someone quicker and more mobile defensively to help keep Miami out on the perimeter. Something they were doing so well early in the fourth quarter but then Perk comes in and suddenly they are getting to the rim again. Driving layups, fouled at the basket, beating them in transition.