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NBA Finals: No one said this would be easy for the Oklahoma City Thunder

HEAT 100, THUNDER 96 — The three players Pat Riley recruited and/or re-recruited in the summer of 2011 reminded Oklahoma City and the world what kind of basketball the Heat is capable of when desperate.
by Mike Sherman Published: June 15, 2012

Well, maybe not everyone. Twice in the first half Thunder game operations folks resorted to Jumbotron crowd-rallying videos normally reserved for fourth quarters.

The gang at “Cheers,” who went off the air before Durant's fifth birthday, did their bar-tapping “We Will Rock You” bit. Then came “Network” and Peter Finch screaming “I want everyone to get up.” That movie is almost as old as Scott Brooks. Time for new material?

The Thunder could use a new opening act. OKC fans' tradition of standing for the first basket lasted three minutes, but their basketball heroes stood around a while longer. Don't blame Russell Westbrook for the stagnant offense. Credit Miami for making it extremely tough to dribble, pass or shoot. Especially shoot.

Oklahoma City missed 11 of its first 13 shots and 12 of 16.

Of course, Durant swooped in late again, five fouls and all, and hit seven straight shots at one stretch. Even more impressive were two big steals in the lane to extend the game.

But the breaks went Miami's way down the stretch, starting with those three critical bank shots — Battier really needed to call it on that 3-pointer. Wade's running banker going left was big, but LeBron's pullup banker at 1:26 was the biggest. It was his first field goal of the fourth quarter.

Thunder fans may want to cry foul on Durant's potential game-tying 7-footer with 9.9 seconds left. KD missed with LeBron's forearm in his ribs. But neither Brooks nor Durant complained in the postgame news conference, and that's as it should be.

It's bad form to fall behind 18-2 and then claim you got jobbed by the refs. In at least that way, it's nice to see Oklahoma City living up to its identity.

Spoelstra and the Heat certainly reclaimed theirs.

by Mike Sherman
Sports Editor
Mike Sherman is sports editor of The Oklahoman, where he has a combined 18 years of service during two stints as a writer and an editor. He covered high school sports for The Oklahoman from 1984-93. He also worked as a news writer for the...
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