If the rest of the NBA Finals go anything like Game 1, LeBron James is going to have one crappy summer. As for his critics, could it have been scripted any better? Miami comes out scorching before the duo we dubbed the best since Shaq and Kobe completely dominate the second half. Yep, sounds a lot like a Skip Bayless wet dream. After trailing for almost all of the first 36 minutes, OKC went off in the fourth quarter to secure Game 1, 105-94. Kevin Durant (36 points, eight rebounds in his first Finals game) and Russell Westbrook (27 points, eight rebounds, 11 dimes) combined for 41 points in the second half (Miami as a team had 40), and scored 23 in the fourth quarter alone. Durant just took the game over in the final frame, scoring 17 by himself. He hit transition threes, banged pull-ups, swooped in for extraterrestrial layups and had a look about him that was just screaming Mr. Brooks. In a repeat of the torture they put Mitch Kupchak through in the Lakers’ final game of the season, there was a point in the middle of the fourth when the ABC cameras showed Pat Riley and Alonzo Mourning in the stands, surrounded by a sea of blue and white (blue t-shirts, nothing but white folk). The two of them looked like Phil Shiffley attending his own funeral. LeBron? He was pretty silent in the fourth, but it wasn’t like he played bad. In fact, he had his best Finals game ever (30 points, nine rebounds) … Right from the start, OKC came out ready to psych out the Heat. The Thunder were even introduced to “Ns in Paris” which includes shoutouts to both LeBron and Dwyane Wade. None of it mattered, at least not to the Heat’s supporting cast. The Thunder shot 56 percent from the field in the first half, and yet were still down seven at the half (and it could’ve been worse). Why? The three-point shot, Shane Battier, Mario Chalmers and Udonis Haslem (nine rebounds by the half). It was interesting to see the different cross matchups early on. For Oklahoma City, they put Serge Ibaka on Battier (17 points), which could take the league’s leading shot blocker out of the paint for long stretches. On the other side, Battier (who came out on fire, making his first three triples) was checking Durant, which did work for us the other night in 2K12. But it’s not working in real life. Then you had James guarding Kendrick Perkins, obviously because stopping Perkins in the low post is so very important. Amazingly, right after Battier took us all back to 1998 with his shooting, Derek Fisher came in and dropped eight points in six minutes. The dude hit jumpers, pull-up Js and even scored on the break against Wade … There was a lot of talk about how age and experience didn’t matter before the series started, but you could’ve fooled us. The Thunder came out looking like they were on a first date as Miami went up 10-2. Westbrook was especially bad, and if it wasn’t for Durant, the Heat could’ve been up 15 early. KD hit two straight triples to get his team into it, and then at one point, Durant blocked a shot in the lane and then outran LeBron down to the other end and finished with a three-point play … With about two minutes left to go in the first half and Miami in complete control, Kevin Durant went down the lane and dunked on all six of Joel Anthony‘s foreheads. For a second, it looked like that play might spart OKC. In a way it did. Miami still wasn’t missing, but the Thunder’s offensive energy definitely picked up. They were driving to the rim, and Westbrook was talking smack to the crowd and causing technicals. He drew a double technical in an exchange with Battier after Westbrook got T’ed up for slapping the ball away, and Battier must’ve got T’ed for being from Duke. For the first time all night, OKC was into the game … Keep reading to hear what happened to Dwyane Wade …
Smack / Jun 13, 2012 / 12:00 am
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