Once again the Oklahoma City Thunder proved that they are fast learners.
Once again, their opponent, this time the Miami Heat, got off to a fast start and were taking it to the Thunder for most of the first half.
They shot the ball well—Shane Battier provided a spark with his outside shooting.
This was only Game 1 and both teams were feeling each other out. However, the Heat were the aggressors early on, forcing the Oklahoma City to battle just to hang around.
The role players came to the rescue.
Derek Fisher entered the game, played 25 minutes and scored six points. Four of those helped keep them in "hanging around" mode and out of "on the verge of getting blown out" mode.
Nick Collison nearly had a double double with eight points and 10 rebounds, Serge Ibaka chipped in with 10 and six.
Miami kept a decent lead throughout the first half, leading 39-26 at one point, and settled for a 54-47 lead at the half.
Once again, the young but experienced Thunder just continued to do what they continue to do in the second halves of games. They went to work and chipped away at the deficit and had come all the way back by the end of the third quarter.
You could feel them coming. Once they found that groove, it wasn't a matter of if they would get themselves back into the game, it was just a matter of when.
The scary thing for Miami was that James Harden hasn't even put his stamp on things yet.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook did what they do, but "The Beard" only had 5 points on 2-6 shooting.
His tough jumper over Mario Chalmers complete with a Reggie Miller leg kick was nice, but rest assured he will probably have a bigger impact in Game 2 than he did last night.
He's averaging 16.8 ppg in the playoffs.
The last time he was held to single digits in scoring was April 14, when he scored six points against the Timberwolves.
How should the Heat go about defending him? Not sure if Eric Spoelstra is certain at this point.
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