Miami Heat takes 3-1 lead
Miami is now only 1 win away to win the NBA championship. They were here last year, but that time things were different and now things are completely different. This year Miami is much focused and strong. Every player is putting 100% effort; their defence is as good as their offence. Not so big names (Chalmers) also tasted the fame for their play. Big 3 (James, Wade, Bosh) are leading the team from front. They are not leaving single stone unturned. They are rich in experience and they held on to their nerves till the end. On the other hand OKC is playing good but this young team is here for the first time and lack of experience is haunting them. Particularly in 4th game Westbrook was very hot. He scored 43 points. He was banging everything in the bucket. He was answering every big shot of Miami with his counter big shot. But his effort goes in vain. The way the OKC reserves have played the first 4 games of this series, chances are the Thunder will have the offseason thrust upon them a lot sooner than you think. Nobody mirrors the OKC reserves’ struggles more than Harden, the reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year. Harden has had a rollercoaster series, scoring 5, 21, 9 and 8 points in 4 games. Had Harden alone done better than his ‘2-for-10’ shooting in Game 3 and game 4, the series score could well have been reading 3-1 in favour of the Thunder. Equally, Collison and Fisher have done the disappearing act. Collison, who posted an impressive 8 points and 10 rebounds in OKC’s Game 1 win over the Thunder, has since registered only 2 points and 5 rebounds in the game 2 and game 3 and 4 rebounds and 6 points in game 4. Fisher, similarly, who was 3-for-5 in Game 1, has gone 1-for-5, 3-for-8 and 0-for-1 in Games 2, 3 and 4 respectively. In the previous playoff games OKC bench averaged 33 points in the Mavericks series, 30.6 in the Lakers series and 32.33 points in the San Antonio series. Contrastingly, Harden, Fisher, Cook and Collison have contributed only 62 points, at an average of 20.6 per game, in the NBA finals.
Hardly able to move, James returned from a left leg injury to make the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 2:54 remaining and the Miami Heat held off Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder for a 104-98 victory on Tuesday night and a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals. With James watching the final moments, Mario Chalmers finished off a stellar 25-point effort that matched Dwyane Wade. James had 26 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds, only missing a triple-double because he was on the bench at the end after hurting his leg with a fall to the court. LeBron James better get well fast. He’s about to play for a championship. No team has blown a 3-1 lead in the finals. Westbrook scored 43 points for the Thunder, who wasted an early 17-point lead but were never out of the game because of their sensational point guard. Kevin Durant had 28 points but James Harden threw in another clunker, finishing with eight points on 2-of-10 shooting. Westbrook and Durant were the only Thunder players to score in the last 16:46. “Whatever it takes. No excuses,” Wade said. “You don’t want to leave this arena saying you missed opportunities.” Chalmers sure didn’t. The player who was struggling so badly that the Thunder put Durant on him in hopes of avoiding further foul trouble made 9 of 15 shots, scoring more points than he had in the previous three games. “Mario Chalmers is a winner,” Wade added. “He’s due for a big game and he came through for us.”