The Thunder didn't fall into as big of a deficit Tuesday as it did in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals against San Antonio.
But that experience of being down 18 early and clawing back helped in Game 1 against the Heat after Miami built a 13-point second-quarter lead.
Oklahoma City won 105-94 Tuesday.
“It's confidence,” Serge Ibaka said. “After we played like that in the series against San Antonio, we know how to do it. We need to stay together and try to play our basketball and we know everything will come.”
The win was the Thunder's fourth in the playoffs after trailing by double digits — one in each of its four series.
DURANT DOESN'T GO ALL THE WAY
Kevin Durant doesn't like taking breaks.
In Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals, Durant played all 48 minutes.
“Every time I take Kevin out, I usually take him out four or five minutes per half, and sometimes he takes it as a benching,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “And he doesn't understand he needs to rest so he can be ready to play the last eight minutes. But we'll play him as long as he can play at a high level with good energy and defensive energy.
“But 48 is probably a tad too much, 47.”
Durant sat for more than two minutes in the first half, taking a quick breather to start the second quarter.
The only player who played longer than Durant in the first half was Miami's LeBron James, who sat for 1:41 before half.
Durant played the entire second half while James sat for less than a minute in the second half.
IBAKA SHUT OUT
For just the fourth time this season and the first in the playoffs, Ibaka was held without a block.
In all four games, though, the Thunder came out with a win.
The last time Ibaka was held without a block was March 1 at Orlando, a 105-102 win.
The other two both came against Golden State within two weeks of each other, on Feb. 7 and Jan. 27.
‘NOT ANY OTHER GAME'
Brooks tried to keep his team's preparation the same as it had been all season.
“What we do every day is we do the same routine, we focus on improving, we focus on studying what they do,” Brooks said before the game. “And we put it on the shoot around and then pregame and then going into the game, nothing changes.
At the same time, Brooks acknowledged the difference Tuesday from any other game he'd ever coached.
“It's not an exhibition game,” Brooks said. “It's not any other game.
“We know that. We understand where we are.”
CBA HELD UP BY THUNDER'S APPEARANCE
NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said before the game that having the National Basketball Players Association President, the Thunder's Derek Fisher, still alive in the Finals has slowed up in ironing out the so called “B list” issues in the new collective bargaining agreement.
“He's still actively engaged in the season; that's part of the hold up as well, but we hope to turn to something once the season ends,” Silver said.
Silver said he recently spoke with NBPA executive director Bill Hunter about the issues.
“We agreed once the season was over, we would reconvene and continue discussing those issues,” Silver said.
Silver said of the issues left to settle, the age issue would not be implemented for next season. Other issued could be immediately implemented as they are settled, though.
COMPETITION COMMITTEE TO MEET JUNE 18
NBA Commissioner David Stern said the block-charge/flop issue would be on the agenda when the league's competition committee meets June 18.
“Flopping almost doesn't do it justice,” Stern said. “Trickery. Deceit. Designed to cause the game to be decided other than on its merits. We will be looking at that. We'll be looking at a number of things that make it easier for us to say to our fans what we all know to be true — our referees want to get everything right.”
Stern said expanded replay could be one remedy.
Thunder general manager Sam Presti is on the committee.
LeBron James, when asked about how to avoid giving up 56 points in the paint to the Thunder in Game 2.
“Not give up 56 points in the paint.”
The Thunder has shot better than 50 percent from the field in each of their last four playoff games. ... Since the current NBA playoff format was established in 1984, the winner of Game 1 has won the NBA Finals 20 times and lost eight. Last season, Miami won Game 1 against Dallas before losing the series in six games. All time in the NBA Finals, Game 1 winners are 47-18. ... The June 12 start date is the second-latest start in NBA Finals history, behind only the 1999 series between San Antonio and New York that started June 16.