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Thunder defeat Heat, 105-94, in Game 1 of NBA Finals

Kevin Durant scores 36 points for Oklahoma City, which overcomes early mistakes to improve to 9-0 at home in playoffs. LeBron James finishes with 30 points for Miami.

June 12, 2012|By Mike Bresnahan
  • Miami's LeBron James, right, drives into the paint past Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant during Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday.
Miami's LeBron James, right, drives into the paint past Oklahoma… (Robert Duyos / Sun Sentinel )

OKLAHOMA CITY — If Miami wasn’t aware of the jagged terrain ahead, it was understandable.

The Oklahoma City Thunder played like the fatigued team, not the Heat, fumbling through the first half and playing anything like the fun, young collection that advanced to the NBA Finals.

Then came the third quarter, the awakening of the two Thunder stars and, never good for an opponent, the emergence of the penetratingly loud Thunder crowd.

It all turned into Oklahoma City’s 105-94 victory Tuesday in Game 1 of the Finals.

Kevin Durant had 36 points, 17 in the fourth quarter, and Russell Westbrook had 27 points, 18 after halftime at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Seemingly nobody in the blue-shirted crowd sat in the fourth quarter, save a few Miami fans of course, as the Thunder completed a comeback from a 13-point second-quarter deficit.

Durant was ridiculously good in the fourth, making six of eight shots and controlling the offensive end for Oklahoma City, which improved to 9-0 at home in the playoffs.

Miami endured three more playoff games than the Thunder to get to the Finals and came off a grueling seven-game series a few days earlier against Boston.

And yet, Oklahoma City trailed until Westbrook converted a three-point play with 16.4 seconds left in the third quarter, giving the Thunder a 74-73 lead.

LeBron James played well enough, totaling 30 points and nine rebounds but Dwyane Wade had a rough shooting night, scoring 19 points on seven-for-19 accuracy.

Miami’s offense completely disappeared in the fourth quarter, scoring 20 points, and its defense wasn’t so hot either, forcing a puny two second-half turnovers.

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