If game 1 of the NBA Finals was any indicator of who is the more dominant player in the league, then Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant should look forward to many years as the league’s top player.
The Oklahoma City Thunder rallied from being down by 13 to beat the Miami Heat 105-94. The Oklahoma City Thunder now have a 1-0 series lead in the NBA Finals. With the win, the Thunder improve their home record to 9-0 in this year’s postseason.
Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder finished with a game high in points, scoring 17 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter. Russell Westbrook was able to manage 27 points and 11 assists after a poor first quarter shooting start. Miami Heat forward Lebron James finished with 30 points, an NBA finals high. Dewayne Wade had 19 points and Shane Battier scored 17 points off of 6 of 9 shooting, his postseason high in points this season.
The Heat started strong against the Thunder on a opening 10-2 run while the Thunder only made 1 of their first 6 shots. The Heat maintained a lead throughout the entire game until a Westbrook foul shot gave the Thunder their first lead with 16.4 seconds left in the game. After the lead, the Thunder never looked back.
“We had a good game plan to start the game but that third quarter really hurt us. They made shots and we missed shots. They made more plays, especially offensively,” said Heat forward Lebron James.
The Thunder came alive in the second half scoring 58 points in the second half. Westbrook and Durant combined for 41 points in the second half while the entire Miami Heat team only had 40 points. This was a true statement of the Kevin Durant and the Thunder’s change in defensive pressure in the second half.
“We showed a lot of toughness in the second half, but we’ve just won one game. K.D. (Durant) is a terrific player but he’s special because he defends. In our huddles it’s all about defense,” said head coach Scott Brooks of the Thunder.
The Thunder also managed to outperform the Heat in fastbreak points, a category that the Heat would usually dominate. The Thunder were able to achieve 24 fast beak points while the Miami Heat had 4.
The Thunder look to use their home field advantage to give them a 2-0 series lead against the Heat on Thursday in Oklahoma City. Tip-off is at 8 p.m.