Game 4 of the NBA Finals are underway and the OKC Thunder must win to avoid falling in a 3-1 hole. Miami will look to capture the 3-1 lead an attempt to close out the series out on Thursday night. Kevin Durant must avoid foul trouble which he was unable to do over the past 2 games. Coach Brooks has decided to have Durant guard Mario Chalmers instead of the more physically stronger LeBron James. Both teams should play with a sense of urgency to gain the advantage on the other.
1st Quarter: The OKC Thunder came out strong in the onset of the game taking an early 17 point lead. The two teams are being physical and the referees are allowing the style of play for now. Russell Westbrook who continues to be the subject of much criticism has 10 points 1 assist and is 5 for 7 on field goal attempts. The OKC Thunder has come out strong on defense, Nick Collison most importantly who had a block on DWayne Wade midway through the quarter. The Big 3 of Miami was held relatively quiet for the quarter. For the first time in the 2012 Finals OKC will end the first quarter with a lead. OKC leads 33-19
2nd Quarter: The Miami Heat responded well from their lackluster 1st quarter and also capitalized on a 3 pointer from rookie Norris Cole to end the 1st quarter. The Heat continues to receive help from the role and Norris Cole wasn’t an exception to the rule, he has scored 8 points through the 1st 2 quarters. Miami has gone on a run of their own including a 13-0 run that goes back to the 1st quarter. LeBron James who scoring wise has remained in check did pick up his 6th assist midway through the quarter. Dwayne Wade also has made his presence in the quarter, Wade scored on a 3 point shot that briefly tied the game at 35 all. Wade did go down in the quarter after Serge Ibaka blocked an attempted dunk; however Wade didn’t exit the game. The OKC Thunder has allowed the Heat to make the game close in the quarter by giving up multiple 3 point shots. Russell Westbrook continued his hot start finishing the half with 18 points 3 rebounds and 3 assists. OKC leads 49-46
3rd Quarter: The 3rd quarter started back and forth before Miami settled into a 6 point lead. Miami role players again have stepped up to the challenge with Shane Battier and Mario Chalmers hitting shots to increase their slim lead. OKC entered the penalty midway through the quarter and with the smaller James Harden guarding LeBron James, Miami was able to pick up easy points at the free throw line. LeBron James is closing in on a triple double and is currently 1 rebound shy of the feat. Miami leads 79-75
4th Quarter: This 4th quarter will decide if the series will go back to Oklahoma City or if Miami will have the potential closeout opportunity in Game 5. Russell Westbrook is in the midst of his own run where he has scored the last 13 points for the Thunder and for the quarter has an 11-2 run. Midway through the quarter LeBron James went down with an apparent injury and had to be carried to the sideline and would be taken out of the game however would return. The game remains competitive in the quarter and appears it will be coming down to the wire. With the game being tied at 94-94, LeBron James and DWayne Wade went on a 5-0 with James scoring a 3 pointer and Wade on a finger roll layup to take a 5 point lead. Russell Westbrook finished the game with 43 points and a questionable foul on Mario Chalmers to send him to the free throw line with the Heat holding a 4 point lead. The before mentioned Chalmers provided 25 points and 15 coming in the 4th quarter. Aside from the scoring of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook the Thunder were unable to receive production from them reserves and would fall in Game 4. Miami wins 104-98