Not 7, Not 6, Not 5, Not 4, Not 3, Not 2….But Just 1.
KING James finally captured his first ring as we were all Witnesses.
Check the jump for a full recap as well as video highlights from the game.
Thursday night we were back for the final game of the season in Miami as the Oklahoma City Thunder looked to avoid being beaten in 4 straight games. Both teams had key players with injury problems in LeBron James suffering from leg cramps and James Harden playing with a bruised left hand. In the opening minute, James immediately put the crowd at ease when he scored a spectacular fast break dunk on a Kevin Durant turnover. Kevin Durant would redeem himself making a long jumper putting his team up 6-4 but that would be the only time the Thunder led in the game. Miami started the game getting up and down the court early on with all 3 of the big 3 scoring early. The Heat role players in Shane Battier, Mike Miller and Norris Cole would come up big as they hit four 3-pointers in the first quarter alone. In the 2nd quarter, Mike Miller continued to knock down 3’s as he knocked down two more going 4-4 before the half. The OKC defense was focused on closing out the paint on LeBron which left the Heat shooters open all night as they took advantage. Heat would soon go on a 15-2 run midway thru the 2nd quarter going up by as many as 17 and would head to the break up by 10.
Going into the 3rd quarter, OKC started out going on a 7-2 run to come within 5 but that run would soon irrelevant as Chalmers and Battier hit a pair of back to back trey balls to put Miami up 11. On the next ensuing possessions, Miami went on a tear in the 3rd going on a 20-3 run with almost every shot falling for them. Serge Ibaka had 4 points in the 3rd quarter, but he would be the only Thunder player not named Durant or Westbrook to score in the period. By the quarters end, the Thunder were down 24 points and the feeling in the air was a championship. The start of the fourth quarter would see Mike Miller make back to back 3 pointers as Fisher and Harden did so the game for OKC. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade combined to score 14 in the final quarter as Russell Westbrook continued to struggle finding his shot. Just past the 5 min. mark, Thunder coach Scott Brooks was ready to waive the white flag as he put in his bench with the score already at a blowout of 23 points. 2 Minutes later with a 22 point lead Heat coach Erik Spoelstra followed Brooks lead and pulled his starters as well with the game over and Miami ready to celebrate their championship.
The story of game 4 was the Miami Heat raining three’s all night with no Thunder in sight, literally. Miami finished the game with 14 three-pointers made at over 50% shooting tying an NBA record previously held by the 95 Houston Rockets who also netted 14 treys. The League and Finals MVP LeBron James finished as the player of the game with 26 points, 11 boards and 13 dimes grabbing his signature-like triple-double. James now becomes the 3rd player in NBA history to lead his team in points, rebounds and assist in the NBA Finals joining Magic Johnson and Tim Duncan. Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Mike Miller also finished with 20+ games but the 2nd most important player of last night’s game was Mike Miller. Miller went 7-8 from long distance and came up big for Miami every time OKC would make a run. If this is Miller’s final game as he’s been struggling with damn near a broken back the past 3 seasons, he goes out on a good note after a long 13 year career achieving an NBA trophy. Juwan Howard also might have played his final game as he became the first player out of the Fab 5 to get a championship ring after 17 long years in the NBA. Both players are well deserving of this achievement in which so many try to for but few get. The scoring champion Kevin Durant finished with a game high of 32 points with 11 boards, while Derek Fisher seemed to be the only Thunder player that also played decent as he scored 11 points shooting 4-7 from the field. Russell Westbrook had possibly his worst game of the series going 4-20 (shooting 0-5 from beyond the arch) scoring 19 points in which 11 came from the stripe. James Harden had 19 points in which 6 also came from the stripe but struggled shooting as well going 5-11. Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins continued their bad play as both players combined to score just 11 points and 8 boards; 13 points shy of Bosh and 1 more board than bosh. For the OKC Thunder, their main concern this summer imo should be finding a low post presence as Miami had a field day focusing on the perimeter due to lack of inside scoring from Ibaka and Perkins. Miami already has a set starting 5 and now they can look to sign role players in the off-season with Mike Miller presumably playing his last game tonight. I expect these two teams to be back in the Finals next year again stronger and better. For now, some us can enjoy the summer of the Miami Heat, while others will anticipate the NBA Draft next week and look forward to next season.
Win Or Go Home.
Heat Win Series 4-1
Game 1: Oklahoma City 105, Miami 94
Game 2: Miami 100, Oklahoma City 96
Game 3: Miami 91, Oklahoma City 85
Game 4: Miami 104, Oklahoma City 98
Game 5: Miami 121, Oklahoma City 106
Game 6: at OKC, Sun. June 24, 8 p.m., ABC (If Necessary)
Game 7: at OKC, Tue. June 26, 9 p.m., ABC (If Necessary)
LeBron Reacts To First Title--