Thunder center Kendrick Perkins suffered a hip/groin injury of Game 4 against the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs and never fully recovered.
It seems like an offseason procedure will be done, although there was no official word after Thursday night's 121-106 season-ending loss to Miami at American Airlines Arena.
Despite suffering a bruised left (shooting) hand in Game 4 that resulted in his hand being taped for Wednesday's practice, Thunder sixth man James Harden did not have the hand taped in Game 5. He shot 5 for 11 from the field, 3 for 8 from 3-point range and finished with 19 points, five assists, four rebounds, two steals and three turnovers.
ANOTHER SLOW START
The Thunder trailed 31-26 in the first quarter on Thursday, marking the fourth time in five games OKC lost the opening period.
Based on statistics, however, the Thunder was fortunate to trail only by five.
OKC shot just 37.5 percent (9 for 24) from the field compared with 57.9 percent (11 for 19) for the Heat. Miami also outscored the Thunder 12-0 from 3-point range, shooting 4 for 8 compared with 0 for 2 for OKC, which entered the game shooting 27.2 percent (21 for 77) from 3-point range.
Reserve forward Mike Miller, battling an array of nagging injuries, made his first three 3-point attempts and finished 7 for 8 for 23 points.
What kept the Thunder close was going 8 for 9 from the free-throw line. Prior to Game 5, the most free throws OKC had attempted in a first quarter in the Finals were five in Game 2.
The Heat had doubled its lead by halftime at 59-49, but again, the Thunder was fortunate to be that close.
Miami shot 55.0 percent (22 for 40) from the field while OKC shot 36.6 percent (15 for 41). Free throws again saved the Thunder, which was 17 for 18 at the line at halftime and finished 23 for 26.
OKC was 15 for 16 from the line in Game 4, which means it hit 38 of its final 42 free throws.
The Thunder found its range from 3-point territory in Game 5 at 39.3 percent (11 for 28), which fell well short of Miami's 53.8-percent accuracy (14 for 26).
The effort barely got OKC over the 30-percent plateau for the Finals while the Heat shot 42.9 percent.
Here is what each Thunder player shot from 3-point range in the Finals:
Kevin Durant 13 for 33
Harden 7 for 22
Derek Fisher 5 for 14
Russell Westbrook 3 for 22
Thabo Sefolosha 2 for 11
Royal Ivey 2 for 2
Deaquan Cook 0 for 2
With 6:12 left in the third, Perkins was whistled for his fifth foul with the Heat leading 75-63.
Reserve forward Nick Collison jumped up from the bench to enter the game, but coach Scott Brooks intercepted him to insert guard Fisher.
Roughly 90 seconds later, Fisher was called for a flagrant foul against James and the rout was on.
By the time Collison finally entered the game with 1:23 left, the lead had ballooned to 92-67.
LEBRON THE LEADER
With 1:23 left in the third quarter and the Heat pulling away 92-67, Miami point guard Mario Chalmers repeatedly waved both hands upward begging for more crowd noise.
Perhaps recalling his past displays of celebration, LeBron James quickly came over and instructed Chalmers to cease and desist, which Chalmers did.
With its 4-1 triumph against the Thunder, the Heat became the first NBA team to trail in three series and win the title.
Miami trailed 2-1 at Indiana, 3-2 at Boston and 1-0 at OKC.
Odds to win the 2012-13 NBA championship, from RJ Bell of Pregame.com:
3/1: Miami Heat; Thunder
5/1: Chicago Bulls
7/1: San Antonio Spurs
12/1: Los Angeles Lakers
15/1: Dallas Mavericks
20/1: Boston Celtics; Indiana Pacers
30/1: Los Angeles Clippers
35/1: Denver Nuggets; Memphis Grizzlies
40/1: Orlando Magic
60/1: Atlanta Hawks; New York Knicks; Philadelphia 76ers
80/1: Houston Rockets
100/1: Milwaukee Bucks; Minnesota Timberwolves; New Jersey Nets; Phoenix Suns; Portland Trail Blazers; Utah Jazz; Washington Wizards
120/1: Cleveland Cavaliers; New Orleans Hornets; Sacramento Kings; Toronto Raptors
130/1: Detroit Pistons; Golden State Warriors
150/1: Charlotte Bobcats