The Miami Heat and OKC Thunder are tied at 1 game apiece in the 2012 NBA Finals heading into Game 3. The beginning of Game 3 will be a decisive stretch given the fact that the next 3 games will be played at American Airlines Arena home of the Miami Heat. OKC will look to overcome sluggish starts that they have experienced in its prior 2 games and Miami will look to hold onto leads which they also have held in the games prior.
1st Quarter: OKC started off to a much better start in the quarter which was needed to keep the game close throughout. The Big 3 of Miami has scored all of their points thus far in the paint and has only settled for 1 outside jump shot, which was attempted by LeBron James. OKC has defended the 3 point line early on; however their paint defense has struggled as a result. Coach Scott Brooks inserted James Harden within the first 5 minutes of the games more than likely to prohibit the slow starts the team has experienced. Miami leads 26-20
2nd Quarter: Midway through the quarter the score remains tight, with both teams battling back and forth. LeBron James continues to attack and has been aggressive for much of the evening midway through the quarter he has 14 points with all coming from inside the painted area. Russell Westbrook who has been the subject of much criticism in the first 2 games regardless of the fact he has averaged 27 points 8 rebounds and 9 assists. In fact at halftime of Game 2 Magic Johnson called Westbrook play the worst point guard play in the history of the NBA Finals. Westbrook however in Game 3 has responded well with 8 points and 0 turnovers throughout the first 2 quarters. Shane Battier continues his hot shooting in the NBA Finals and is currently 11-15 from 3 point range. At the end of the quarter the teams exchanged 3 point baskets coming from Shane Battier and then Russell Westbrook at the other end. Miami leads 47-46
3rd Quarter: Both teams are off to a slow start to begin the quarter, with both coming out missing their first couple of shots in the half. After overcoming the start at the half the Thunder started a 14-2 run to take a lead of 9 with 7 minutes remaining in the quarter. Miami has gone away from attacking the paint as they did in the 1st half. In the quarter and for the 2nd straight game Kevin Durant will be in foul trouble for the remainder of the game picking up his 4th foul on somewhat of a suspect call against Dwayne Wade. After Durant picked up his 4th foul Coach Scott Brooks sat Durant for the remainder of the quarter along with Westbrook. Defensively the OKC Thunder has made adjustments allowing them to take the lead in the quarter; however the Thunder has committed 2 fouls on 3 point shots allowing Miami to convert on all attempts and allowed Miami to cut into the lead. LeBron James was relatively quiet in the quarter before scoring on a 3 point shot which was in the midst of a 15-3 run from Miami and also gave them the lead. Miami leads 69-67
4th Quarter: The Thunder and Heat are in a competitive battle in the 4th quarter. The Thunder hit a cold stretch in the quarter which gave the Heat the opportunity to open a 7 point lead. James Harden has struggled in the game shooting 2 for 10 and outside of the duo of Westbrook and Durant there has been no major contributors. OKC Thunder has been unable to convert on a turnover riddled Miami Heat who had 9 turnovers in the quarter. LeBron James and Dwayne Wade willed their team in the 4th once they were able to overcome their own troubles. OKC attempted a rally late in the game but didn’t have enough to capitalize on the opportunities given. Miami wins 91-85