Heat vs Thunder Game 1 Score: Outstanding Second Half Big Difference for OKC

Eric BallFeatured ColumnistJune 13, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - JUNE 12:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder dunks the ball in the fourth quarter against the Miami Heat in Game One of the 2012 NBA Finals at Chesapeake Energy Arena on June 12, 2012 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Miami Heat had the Oklahoma City Thunder just where they wanted them.

They had a seven point lead at the half and LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were rather quiet, while Shane Battier had 13!

Then the second half came and the result was a 105-94 win for the Thunder, and a 1-0 lead in the 2012 NBA Finals.

While the final score is a tad misleading, there is no question OKC was able to shake off the rust and the nerves of being in the NBA Finals to demolish the Heat in the second half. This stat by NBA.com’s John Schuhmann says it all:

Thunder were down 66-62 & then scored on 21 of their final 29 possessions.

— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) June 13, 2012

They outscored Miami 58-40 as the Thunder committed only two turnovers in the final 24 minutes.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook outscored the Heat by themselves in the second half by a 41-40 count. They were attacking the basket and refusing to settle for anything less than a quality shot attempt.

Durant scored 36 points, which is the most points a player has scored in his finals debut since Iverson back in ’01 (48). Thabo Sefolosha played incredible defense and Nick Collison came off the bench to contribute eight points and 10 boards in only 21 minutes.

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - JUNE 12:  (R-L) Thabo Sefolosha #2, Kevin Durant #35 and Kendrick Perkins #5 of the Oklahoma City Thunder celebrate a play in the third quarter while taking on the Miami Heat in Game One of the 2012 NBA Finals at Chesapeake Energy Aren
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

It’s almost like they forgot it was the most important game of their lives and they were just playing another game. The nerves were nonexistent.

Meanwhile on the other side of the floor…

After hitting a few long-range jumpers early, Chris Bosh decided to keep on clunking. He ended up making just 4-of-11 shots and finished with just 10 points and five rebounds in 32 minutes.

Bosh seemed to be hiding his abdominal strain injury and the Thunder knew it. He has to get back in the paint to give the Heat offense better balance.

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - JUNE 12:  Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder goes up for a shot between Chris Bosh #1 and LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat in the second half in Game One of the 2012 NBA Finals at Chesapeake Energy Arena on June 12, 201
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

In the first half the Heat were getting open looks behind the arc, and were knocking them down. They drilled six three’s in the first half after averaging six three’s per game in the playoffs.  

In the second half they settled for far too many jumpers, resulting in a 27-to-18 free throw discrepancy. It seems as if the Heat were unable to handle the adjustments of the Thunder after halftime and the offense ended up stalling far more often than it should have.

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - JUNE 12:  Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat goes up for a shot over Derek Fisher #37 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second half in Game One of the 2012 NBA Finals at Chesapeake Energy Arena on June 12, 2012 in Oklahoma City, Oklaho
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Wade played a horrific game, scoring 19 points on 19 shots while having the crucial turnover with under a minute remaining to seal the Thunder win.

You can’t fault James, who had 30-9-4 and didn’t disappear in the fourth (seven points).  

This was a team loss, and everybody on Miami deserves blame, but I’d say Wade is the one who deserves the brunt of it.

The Thunder outscored the Heat 24-4 on fastbreak points and outrebounded them 43 to 35. They played better in virtually every category and enter Game 2 knowing they can take a vicious right hook from the Heat and get right back up.

Did I mention James Harden only scored five points and had zero rebounds?

Miami has some serious adjustments to make but for now, but Game 1 will be remembered for the incredible performance by the young Thunder in the second half.