HEAT 103, THUNDER 97
American Airlines Arena
Dec. 25, 2012
MIAMI — A lack of composure and a key defensive breakdown late in the game helped the Thunder gift wrap a 103-97 victory for Miami on Christmas Day in this season's previous meeting between last year's NBA finalists.
Trailing 92-90 with 4:54 left, OKC closed out the game shooting just 2 for 8 from the field.
“They got better shots than us late in the game,” Thunder forward Nick Collison said afterward. “We got away from executing down the stretch. Every bucket we got was so difficult. Guys had to make incredible plays to get a bucket.”
With the Thunder down 96-95 inside the final minute, center Kendrick Perkins went to double-team LeBron James too soon along the left wing, which left Chris Bosh alone for an uncontested dunk with 25.5 seconds remaining.
“The margin is really small against this team,” Collison said. “It's a lot of little things that we can do better. I think that's what we should focus on. It's just like any other team, those little things are what's going to win you the game. It's not so much about the matchups or the talent.”
Just like it did in last year's Finals, the Heat excelled at the free-throw line against OKC and finished 19 for 19 for the game, including 17 for 17 in the second half.
Despite early foul trouble, Kevin Durant was able to score 25 of his game-high 33 points in the second half. Teammate Russell Westbrook had 21 points, but shot just 5 for 19 from the field.
James led Miami with a team-high 29 points, eight assists and nine rebounds, while Dwyane Wade added 21 points. As was the case in last year's Finals, one of the Heat's role players stepped up as point guard Mario Chalmers had 20 points, going 4 for 8 on 3-pointers.