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.
By John Rohde Published: June 17, 2012

Stupid fouls: Leading 65-56 late in the third quarter, the Thunder on consecutive Miami possessions fouled shooters on 3-point attempts. The Heat made all six free throws to start a 15-2 run and take a 71-67 lead early in the fourth quarter.

In Game 1, the Thunder made six more free throws and won 105-94.

In Game 2, Miami made three more free throws and won 100-96.

In Game 3, the Heat made 16 more free throws and won by six.

Thunder veteran Nick Collison acknowledged his team's overall struggles Sunday night, but also said the opponent had something to do with it.

“There are a lot of things that we could have done better,” Collison said. “We've made a lot of mistakes for sure, but Miami deserves credit. They've played well.”

The Heat deserves credit when it comes to points in the paint, rebounding, assists and turnovers, but that has nothing to do with Oklahoma City making free throws.

“We haven't shot well (at the line),” Collison said. “Hopefully, we'll relax and make the shots come next game. It's uncharacteristic for us, but it's been a little bit of trend so, it's a tough thing to correct. It's more about your mindset, shooting with confidence.”

Could it be the nerves of being in the Finals?

“Maybe. Each guy's different, too,” Collison said. “I don't know if it's contagious. … Each guy's got his own reasons for not making them, but hopefully we'll be more comfortable next time we go.”

Collison centered on the big picture, however.

“The last three games, we've kind of had stretches where we've been bad defensively,” Collison said. “We've had a lot of breakdowns. We can't have those long stretches, like half a quarter or a whole quarter. We'll watch the tape, find out what mistakes we made and try to be better and try to win the next one.”

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