News Column

2012 NBA Finals Review

Feb. 15, 2013

Bill Haisten, World Sports Writer

nba

After Oklahoma City rallied from a two-games-to-none deficit, eliminating the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference finals, the Thunder advanced to the 2012 NBA Finals and a clash with the Miami Heat. A review of the five-game series:

GAME 1

June 12: Chesapeake Energy Arena, OKC

Thunder 105, Heat 94

With 17 fourth-quarter points, Kevin Durant finished with 36. For the 11th time in 16 playoff games, Oklahoma City scored at least 100 points. The Thunder rallied from a 13-point, secondquarter deficit. Miami's Le-Bron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh scored a combined total of 59 points.

GAME 2

June 14: Chesapeake Energy Arena, OKC

Heat 100, Thunder 96

Less than seven minutes into Game 2, Oklahoma City trailed 18- 2. When Kevin Durant was unable to convert on a late baseline shot, the Thunder was dealt its first home playoff loss of the year. LeBron James scored 32 points while Dwyane Wade had a 24- point, six-rebound, five-assist performance. Heat role player Shane Battier was 5-of-7 on 3-pointers and scored 17 points.

GAME 3

June 17: American Airlines Arena, Miami

Heat 91, Thunder 85

Midway through the third period, Miami's crowd of 20,003 watched the Thunder surge to a 10-point lead. With less than eight minutes left to play, OKC had a 77-76 advantage. During the final 90 seconds, the Thunder was scoreless while Miami converted on five free throws. Miami prevailed in spite of 38 percent shooting from the field. Through the first three rounds of the playoffs, OKC connected on 84 percent of its free throws. In Game 3, OKC misfired on nine foul shots. Through three NBA Finals games, the Thunder was 54-of-77 for 70 percent. In Game 3, OKC sixth man James Harden scored nine points on 2-of-10 shooting.

GAME 4

June 19: American Airlines Arena, Miami

Heat 104, Thunder 98

OKC's Russell Westbrook was fantastic, scoring 43 points on 20- of-32 shooting from the field. He committed only three turnovers - - and he committed one extremely costly foul. With 13.8 seconds remaining and the Thunder trailing by three points, Westbrook fouled Miami's Mario Chalmers when only a couple of seconds were left on the shot clock. Instead of forcing Chalmers to try a contested shot, Westbrook sent the former Kansas Jayhawk star to the foul line. Chalmers converted on both free throws. The Heat had taken a three-games-to-one advantage in the series.

GAME 5

June 21: American Airlines Arena, Miami

Heat 121, Thunder 106

With 10:13 left in the third period, Oklahoma City trailed by only 61-56. By the end of the third period, the deficit was 24 points (95-71). The Thunder was finished. After having been the regular-season MVP, LeBron James was voted the Finals MVP. In Game 5, he had a 26-point, 11-rebound, 13-assist tripledouble. The Heat celebrated its second title since 2006. "It's unfortunate we couldn't handle all the things that they were throwing at us, but they beat us. They beat us fair and square," OKC coach Scott Brooks said. "They were the better team in this series, and like I told the guys, there's nothing to be ashamed of."

Durant's quest

Thunder forward Kevin Durant is attempting to become only the third player in NBA history to lead the league in scoring in as many as four consecutive seasons. Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain each had a run of seven consecutive scoring titles - Jordan in 1986-87 through 1992-93, and Chamberlain in 1959-60 through 1965-66.

As NBA All-Star weekend approaches, a look at how Durant and teammate Russell Westbrook stand in the current scoring race:

Kevin Durant, OKC: 29.0 average.

Carmelo Anthony, New York: 29.0.

LeBron James, Miami: 27.1.

Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers: 27.0.

James Harden, Houston: 26.1.

Kyrie Irving, Cleveland: 23.9.

Russell Westbrook, OKC: 22.5.

LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland: 21.2.

Dwyane Wade, Miami: 21.1.

Stephen Curry, Golden State: 21.0.

Thunder players among stat leaders

Free throw percentage

Stephen Curry, Golden State: .907.

Kevin Durant, OKC: .904.

Kevin Martin, OKC: .902.

Darren Collison, Dallas: .898.

J.J. Redick, Orlando: .893.

Assists

Rajon Rondo, Boston: 11.1 per game.

Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers: 9.5.

Greivis Vasquez, New Orleans: 9.4.

Jrue Holiday, Philadelphia: 8.8.

Russell Westbrook, OKC: 8.1.

Blocked shots

Larry Sanders, Milwaukee: 3.16 per game.

Serge Ibaka, OKC: 2.90.

Tim Duncan, San Antonio: 2.70.

Roy Hibbert, Indiana: 2.67.

Dwight Howard, 2.37.

Steals

Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers: 2.60 per game.

Mike Conley, Memphis: 2.25.

Russell Westbrook, OKC: 2.00.

Jeremy Lin, Houston: 1.94.

Monta Ellis, Milwaukee: 1.90.



Source: (C) 2013 Tulsa World. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved


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