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NBA Finals: Heat holds off Thunder to tie series at a game apiece

LeBron James scored 32 points and hit the clinching free throws with 7 seconds left, Dwyane Wade added 24 points and the Miami Heat claimed home-court advantage in the NBA Finals by beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 100-96 in Game 2 on Thursday night.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: June 14, 2012

“The bottom line is we play aggressive basketball, we play tough basketball, and we didn’t do that to start the game,” Brooks said. “The last minute, I won’t even look at that. I’m going to focus on the first six to eight minutes of the game. That’s more important than the last minute or the last play of the game.”

In Game 1, the Thunder trailed by 11 late in the first quarter and sat on just 13 points inside the final minute of that opening period.

On Thursday, the offense was even worse. The Thunder’s half-court sets looked chaotic. They were defined by isolations and ill-advised jump shots, one after another bouncing off the rim, each miss deflating the Thunder more and more.

Westbrook started 0-for-6. By halftime, Westbrook and Durant were a combined 5-for-19.

“Thinking about it, I think we got some good looks,” Durant said. “We missed a few chippies, lay-ins. But we can’t get down that much, especially at home. We’ve got to correct it.”

Miami was again a machine while the Thunder struggled to muster anything positive. The Heat had open looks offensive and turned it over just once.

“They established their game and they played attack basketball right from the very start and they had us back on our heels,” Brooks said.

Maybe this two-game trend is just what the Thunder needs. Maybe it will serve as a wake-up call of sorts and illustrate to this championship-hungry squad that it needs to take its best to Miami.

Maybe, just maybe, at some point in between now and Sunday night, the Thunder will find an answer to this mysterious slow starts.

by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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