NBA Finals: Many issues contributed to Thunder's Game 3 loss
Oklahoma City's most glaring shortcoming throughout the Finals, however, has come at the free-throw line.
MIAMI, Fla. — The Thunder's 91-85 loss to the Miami Heat in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night was multi-faceted.
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OKC now trails the series 2-1 for many reasons, including the following:
Horrific first quarters: The Thunder has yet to win the initial period and has now been outscored 82-57 in the series. OKC has led only once. It didn't happen until Sunday at American Airlines Arena when it led 4-2. It lasted for all of 36 seconds.
Points in the paint: In its two losses, the Thunder has been outscored in the paint, surrendering 48 points in Game 2 and 46 in Game 3. On Sunday, 14 of Miami's first 15 field goals came from inside the paint.
Sticky fingers on offense: The Thunder had 22 assists (in 40 field goals) in its Game 1 victory, but managed just 14 assists (in 34 field goals) in Game 2 and 11 assists (in 33 field goals) in Game 3. Lots of standing around, poor spacing and a lack of ball movement are to blame.
Poor rebounding: The Thunder owned a 43-35 advantage in its Game 1 victory and got outrebounded 40-36 in Game 2 and 45-38 in Game 3.
Sloppy play: After cutting its turnovers from 16.3 per game in the regular season to 11.4 in the postseason, OKC committed 14 turnovers Sunday, leading to 16 points for Miami. Nine of the Thunder's turnovers came in the second half and six in the final period.
OKC's most glaring shortcoming throughout the Finals, however, has come at the free-throw line — and it also has been multi-faceted:
The Thunder is missing far too many free throws: After leading the NBA the last two seasons at 82.3 percent and 80.6 percent, OKC is shooting just 70.1 percent (54 for 77) from the free-throw line in the Finals. Game 3 was the worst showing yet at 62.5 percent (15 for 24). OKC is getting its usual number of attempts at the line compared to the regular season (26.4), but it's nowhere close to its usual number of makes (21.3).
The Heat is sizzling at the line: Miami shot 88.6 percent (31 for 35) from the line in Game 3. The Heat shot 77.5 percent from the line during the regular season and averaged 24.2 attempts. In the Finals, Miami is shooting 85.9 percent (67 for 78) from the line overall.
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