Defense: F. The Thunder never got the Heat out of its comfort zone. Miami was either draining open 3-pointers or getting to the basket for easy shots. Miami made 14 of 26 3-pointers and 23 of 40 shots in the paint. Which means the Heat took only 11 2-pointers outside the paint. That's the sign of an efficient offense. The Heat scored on 10 of 11 possessions during a first-quarter stretch to take a 25-17 lead. Then the Heat scored on seven of eight possessions during a second-quarter stretch to take a 53-36 lead. Finally, the Heat scored on 11 of 15 possessions during a third-quarter spree to take a 90-65 lead with 2:27 left. The Thunder got precious few stops when this was a ballgame.
Rotations: C. Scotty Brooks pulled out all the stops, never substituting Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook until surrendering in the fourth quarter. Good move, since there was nothing to rest them for. But Brooks again forgot about Thabo Sefolosha, his best defender. Thabo picked up two fouls in the first six minutes and didn't return until the third quarter. When Sefolosha went to the bench in the first quarter, the Heat led 14-10 and had made four of nine shots. The rest of the half, Miami made 18 of 31 shots. Thabo played just the first 3:41 of the third quarter, during which the Heat made four of seven shots. But after Sefolosha went to the bench, the Heat scored 26 points in the final seven minutes of the quarter. The Thunder's best defender played less than 10 minutes. Derek Fisher played three times as much.
Kevin Durant: C. Durant, like always, shot well (13 of 24), and his 11 rebounds were superb. But Durant had seven turnovers and generally played sloppy with the ball. His sluggish start helped set the wrong tone for the Thunder.
Russell Westbrook: C. Westbrook's golden touch from Game 4 left him. He couldn't get much to drop and finished 4-of-20 shooting. Westbrook shot too many 3-pointers (0-for-5) and was 3-for-17 for the series on treys. But Westbrook's floor game wasn't awful; he had six assists and only two turnovers on a chaotic night.
James Harden: D. Harden finally ended his slump — in the fourth quarter, while the Heat coronation had begun. Through three quarters, Harden had made just one of six shots, making him 5-for-26 in the three Miami games. The Thunder needs much more than that from Harden. In the fourth quarter, Harden made four of five shots and finished with 19 points. Too little too late.
3-point shooting: D. The Thunder's series-long slump continued. The Thunder made just four of 17 3-pointers before making seven of 11 in the fourth quarter, when they didn't matter. Meanwhile, the Heat stayed hot. Miami made 12 of 21 3-pointers. The biggest difference in this series was 3-point shooting. The Thunder made 32 of 105 (30.5 percent); the Heat made 42 of 98 (42.9 percent). OKC entered the Finals the better deep-shooting team.
Touch: D. In the second quarter, when the Thunder desperately tried to stay within striking distance, three times it put up shots that went in but not down. Harden's 3-point shot would have made it 36-35 but rattled out. Durant's 17-footer would have made it 41-36 but did the same. Then Westbrook's leaner, which drew a foul, went in and out with Miami up 55-40.
Exploiting foul trouble: D. The Heat took advantage when Durant encountered foul trouble in Game 3. The Thunder did not take advantage in Game 5 when Dwyane Wade had to sit. Wade's second foul sent him to the bench with 4:01 left in the first quarter and the Heat up 20-15. But the teams played to an 11-11 tie the rest of the period, sans Wade. Then Wade picked up foul No. 3 and sat out the final 5:35 of the second quarter, but the Thunder outscored Miami just 13-11 during that span. Perhaps most regrettable, the Thunder didn't attack Wade when he got his second foul — Wade played the next 2:37, guarding Harden, but Harden attacked Wade only once and missed a drive.