Heat earn split in Oklahoma City
June 15, 2012 19:32:41 UK
The Miami Heat return home for Game 3 of the NBA Finals this weekend knowing that they have a chance to close out the series on their own floor.
Playing a 2-3-2 format, the Heat needed to gain a split at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City to put pressure on the Thunder. Miami did just that jumping out to a 12-point end of first quarter lead and holding off a determined Thunder rally for a 100-96 victory. LeBron James scored 32 points on 10-of-22 shooting and Dwyane Wade poured in a further 24 in support. The big story though was Chris Bosh who started for the first time since his injury and had 15 rebounds to go with 16 points in 40 minutes of work. Shane Battier's useful 17 points that included five 3-pointers was the difference in the game as no one on the Thunder side stepped up to support Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden.
Oklahoma City's own version of the Big 3 were a combined 29-of-59 for 80 of the Thunder's 96 points, a situation that if it continues will lead to a Miami Championship. Either Serge Ibaka or Thabo Sefolosha must step up in support of Durant and co. Both teams now rest up for a couple of days before playing on Sunday. This should also benefit the Heat who came off a tough series with the Boston Celtics and a short turn around. Games 4 and 5, also at the American Airlines Arena, are Tuesday and Thursday before the teams return to Oklahoma if necessary.
The Heat are 1.19 to win the series while the Thunder are at 5.00.
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