Monday, June 18, 2012

LeBron James leads Heat past Thunder in Game 3 of NBA Finals

By Marc J. Spears | Yahoo! Sports – 13 hours ago

MIAMI – LeBron James wrestled control of the NBA Finals away from Kevin Durant, scoring 29 points to lead the Miami Heat to a thrilling 91-85 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 3 on Sunday night.
For the second straight game, LeBron James outclassed Kevin Durant in the fourth quarter. (Getty Images) The Heat lead the series 2-1. Game 4 is Tuesday.
Dwyane Wade totaled 25 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the Heat. Kevin Durant scored 25 points, but was again bothered by foul trouble.
The Heat trailed by 10 points in the third quarter before rallying. They took control with a little less than three minutes remaining in the game. After Wade drove for a basket and a foul, the Thunder came unhinged with consecutive turnovers. James, who also had 14 rebounds, took the second and drove for a short bank shot, picking up Durant's fifth foul in the process. The three-point play pushed Miami's lead to seven and sent the Thunder into a timeout with 3:47 left.
The Heat appear to have learned their lessons from last season's struggles in the Finals, particularly in late-game situations.  
"We carry that pain with us," Chris Bosh said. "We think about it every day, and that really helps us to succeed in this series."
Durant uncharacteristically missed two free throws in the quarter and the Thunder missed nine total for the game. Oklahoma City was the NBA's best foul shooting team in the regular season.
The Heat seemed to have the game in hand after James again pushed Miami's lead to seven, but the Thunder came roaring back. After a pair of free throws by Kendrick Perkins, Thabo Sefolosha stripped Wade near midcourt and raced down court for a lay-in. Westbrook followed with a pull-up jumper to cut OKC's deficit to a single point with 1:30 remaining, setting the stage for a third straight tense finish in the series.


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