The Miami Heat beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 91-85 in game 3 of the NBA Finals to take a 2-1 series lead.
Kevin Durant scored 25 points but for the second straight game had to leave the floor in the third quarter because of foul trouble. When Durant picked up his fourth foul with 5:41 left in the third, the Thunder would be outscored 15-7 to end the period.
The Thunder actually led the game 64-54 with 4:33 left in the third quarter. Durant and Russell Westbrook did not play the rest of the quarter after that point and the Heat took advantage.
LeBron James scored 29 points to go with 14 rebounds and three assists in the game. He was most effective in the first half with his activity and work on the offensive glass.
The Thunder did not get out to their usual slow start although still trailed for most of the game. Kendrick Perkins played a better game with 10 points and 12 rebounds but played 34 minutes to Serge Ibaka’s 22.
Nick Collison only played 13 minutes partly due to picking up three quick fouls in the first half.
None of the Thunder’s Big Three played 40-plus minutes in the game while LeBron played 44 minutes and Dwyane Wade played 44. It felt like the Heat simply had their best guys on the floor longer than the Thunder did.
The Thunder are to blame for this too though because of the stupid fouls they committed. They didn’t trail by as much in the first half but arguably played their worst first half of the series. The intensity was nonexistent and the help defense on pick-and-rolls absent.
The deficit was not much thanks to poor shooting from the perimeter by the Heat. The Heat still led though because they got a ton of looks from inside the paint in the first half.
The game was one the Thunder surely could have one but a lot of things did not go in their favor. That sometimes happens when you’re on the road but the series is long from over for them.
The Thunder are a team that gets better as the series progresses because they are still learning how to win. They have enough talent to beat the Heat every night and really just need to get one of the next two to get the series back to OKC.
Only two teams since 1985 have won three straight home games in Games 3, 4 and 5 in the NBA Finals. The Heat would have to do that to end the series before it goes back out West.
Game 4 will be Tuesday night at 9 p.m. EST on ABC.