NBA Finals Game 1

The NBA Finals are underway with one of the most anticipated matchups in recent memory. Throughout this finals I will provide a quarter by quarter analysis and publish it at games end.

1st Quarter: The Miami Heat and OKC Thunder are living up to the billing in the 1st quarter with great outside shooting. Shane Battier scored 3 early 3 point field goal attempts with Kevin Durant countering and scoring 2 of his own. Coming into Game 1 many wondered how coaches would handle the opposing matchup. It is apparent early that Dwayne Wade would assume the responsibility of slowing down one of the explosive guards in the league today Russell Westbrook. Kevin Durant appears to be set with guarding LeBron James, Durant throughout the playoffs has taken it upon himself to guard the opposing team best player. Aside from individual matchups OKC has struggled in the 1st quarter with guarding the 3 point line with both Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier scoring on multiple attempts. Durant has been the only constant offensive threat for OKC currently with Westbrook unsuccessful on 3 of 4 attempts, however James Harden did make a buzzer beater shot as the quarter ended. At the end of the 1st quarter the Heat lead 29-22

2nd Quarter: Midway through the quarter Miami maintains a small lead over the Thunder. Heat role players has rose to the challenge with Chalmers and Battier providing a steady hand of offense to assist the big 3. Of the big 3 Chris Bosh made another appearance off the bench for the 3rd consecutive game and knocking down a 3 pointer as he did Game 7 versus Boston. In the 2nd quarter OKC continues to cut into the lead however the Heat continues respond to keep the separation. OKC has 8 turnover as halftime approaches and will need to protect the ball better in the 2nd half to be able to make a run of their own. Both teams are shooting 50% from the field with Miami holding the scoring advantage because of the Thunder turnover problems. The Thunder did receive contributions from Derek Fisher who has much experience in Finals with most coming from his tenure with the LA Lakers. Highlights that many may have been excepted have been at a premium so far with the exception being with Kevin Durant who was able to spilt the defense and dunked over both Chris Bosh and Joel Anthony. Miami lead 54-47

3rd Quarter: OKC came out in the 3rd quarter with momentum for a brief moment and tying the game at 60 midway through the quarter. OKC appears to be settling in to the atmosphere and the pressure that comes along with the being in the NBA Finals. Defensively the Thunder applied the pressure starting with Thabo Shefolosha who accounted for several turnovers. Russell Westbrook also made his mark on the game scoring 12 points in the quarter alone. OKC did take better care of the basketball in the quarter only committing 1 turnover in the 3rd.  Dwayne Wade through 3 quarters has only 8 points and must be more assertive in order for the Heat to be effective. Thunder lead 74-73

4th Quarter: OKC begins the 4th with momentum on their side as they ended the 3rd quarter with their first lead of the game. Westbrook and Durant outscored the Miami Heat by themselves in the 2nd half with a flurry of offensive moves. The duo of Westbrook and Durant both put on a show, Westbrook filled the stat sheet falling 2 rebounds short of a triple double bouncing back from a subpar 1st half. Durant show the ability he has in his game closing the game in the 4th quarter by scoring 17 points and pin point passing. OKC showed great ball movement during the quarter where they continued to pass open shots for better opportunities in the paint, a lesson that might have been learned from the San Antonio Spurs. As Miami role players assisted in the 1st half OKC took control with their role players in Nick Collison, Shafolsha and Derek Fisher to take control in the 4th. As the quarter wore on the Heat begin to become dry from the field going a stretch of 6 minutes with no baskets made. The Thunder controlled the 4th quarter with a unorthodox lineup that Coach Scott Brooks typically do not use, only using James Harden for the last minutes of the game and using his veterans during crunch time. With Miami not in sync offensively the Heat was unable to close the margin and ultimately would fall in Game 1.
OKC wins 105-94

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