Final

Miami wins series 4-1 (Game 2 of 5)

Miami wins series 4-1

Game 1: Tuesday, June 12th
Heat94Final
Thunder105
Game 2: Thursday, June 14th
Heat100Final
Thunder96
Game 3: Sunday, June 17th
Thunder85Final
Heat91
Game 4: Tuesday, June 19th
Thunder98Final
Heat104
Game 5: Thursday, June 21st
Thunder106Final
Heat121

Heat 100

(46-20, 18-15 away)

Thunder 96

(47-19, 26-7 home)

    Coverage: ABC/WatchESPN

    9:00 PM ET, June 14, 2012

    Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIA 27 28 23 22100
    OKC 15 28 24 2996

    Top Performers

    Miami: L. James 32 Pts, 8 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl

    Oklahoma City: K. Durant 32 Pts, 3 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Heat-Thunder Preview

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Not many know much about the guy who dominated Game 1 of the NBA Finals other than he's pretty good.

    Kevin Durant is a mystery even to some of the players trying to beat him.

    "It's one of those things where I respect his game, but I don't know him, either. I know probably just as much as you guys know," Miami's Dwyane Wade said Wednesday.

    That's just the way Durant likes it.

    He doesn't seek the spotlight and it seldom comes to Oklahoma looking for him. He rarely makes much news and wouldn't read it anyway, preferring the quiet life LeBron James gave up any hope of when he went to Miami and promised all those championships at that big welcoming party two summers ago.

    Durant instead committed to remaining in Oklahoma City that same month, bypassing a big announcement by revealing on Twitter he had agreed to a contract extension.

    He may not be able to hide much longer.

    A few more performances like he had in the opener -- when he scored 17 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter of the Thunder's 105-94 victory -- and Durant could take his place as the league's biggest star.

    Yet he pays no more attention to praise than he does criticism -- unless it comes from within his organization.

    "I have faith in all those things that I do day in and day out: Coming in, working hard, believing in myself and my teammates, and believing in the system. Whatever happens after that, it happens, as long as I know that I come in and give it my all every single day," Durant said. "I can't worry about what other people say or expectations they put on me. It's just all about how I view myself and how my teammates view me, and we'll go from there."

    Game 2 is Thursday night, another chance for Durant to build on what's already one of the league's strongest resumes in recent years: Three-time scoring champion. MVP of the All-Star game. MVP of the world basketball championship.

    On the floor, his name belongs with James, Wade, Kobe Bryant, or any of the NBA's brightest stars. Away from the court, Durant doesn't seem interested in anything that would force his name into the discussion, with Wade comparing him to San Antonio's Tim Duncan.

    "And sometimes it's where you're at. If he was in Los Angeles, Chicago, somewhere, it would be a little different," Wade said. "Being in Oklahoma kind of dims his light a little bit. Not him on the basketball court, but him off the court. There's not a lot of exciting things going on out here."

    Well, except for Durant's performances.

    His scoring average and shooting percentage have gone up every round, and he matched his high scoring game of this postseason on Tuesday. He did hear some criticism for being too passive and taking only four shots over the middle two quarters, but he brushes that off as easily as he does defenders.

    "I don't want to sound like a jerk or anything, but I really don't care what people say outside the locker room, outside of this organization, what I need to do or what I didn't do. I really don't care," Durant said. "You know, I'm a guy that lets the game come to me but is also aggressive at the same time. I know when to take shots, when to make the right play.

    "People can say this and that. I learn to just tune it out and just play my game."

    James and Wade are as much celebrities as athletes, answering questions about fashion Wednesday while every inquiry to Durant was about basketball. And with more attention on the Miami duo, so is the "noise" that coach Erik Spoelstra says the team is always trying to ignore.

    Last year it was focused on James after his repeated fourth-quarter failures in the Heat's loss to Dallas. He was outplayed in the final period by Durant on Wednesday but otherwise had a strong game, his 30 points his most ever in the finals.

    Now the blame seems to be shifted toward Wade, who hasn't been consistent this postseason while perhaps still dealing with knee pain. He shot just 7 for 19 in Game 1, with Spoelstra denying there was anything physically wrong.

    James may remind Wade he needs more from his partner Thursday.

    "A lot of times I try to let him figure it out on his own, but sometimes I go to him and tell him I need one of those games from him, I need one of those performances from him, because he still has it," James said. "He knows he still has it, too, but every player needs a little kick every now and then, no matter how time tested they are."

    Wade was briefly THE guy in the NBA six years ago, leading the Heat to an NBA title at 24 and looking as if he could have plenty of years on top.

    Things are set up for Durant, just 23, to inherit that role now. He can put himself on a list along with Michael Jordan, Bryant and Willis Reed, who were MVPs of the All-Star game and finals in the same year, then will chase Olympic gold with the U.S. team this summer.

    Game 1 had barely ended when already Durant was talking about what he could do better in Game 2, and that's as far as he'll look for now.

    "I'm just taking it a day at a time," he said. "It's just a blessing to be here, not just in the finals but being in the NBA, having this opportunity to do something I love to do, and just take it slow, take it a day at a time, keep working every single day, and at the end we'll see where I'm at. But I can't think too far down the line. Just got to be ready for the next day and prepare myself right for whatever happens."

    ---

    Follow Brian Mahoney on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Briancmahoney

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    Research Notes

    If the Heat lose tonight, it will mark the 5th time LeBron James career he's faced a 2-0 deficit in the playoffs. In 3 of the previous 4 instances they've lost the series.
      [+]
    The Heat do not have history on their side -- since 1990, only 5 teams have come back to win the NBA title after losing Game 1 of the Finals.
      [+]
    Miami led by 4 points at halftime, but it was the 3rd quarter that proved to be the turning point in the game. Oklahoma City "heated" up and outscored Miami 27-19 in the quarter. This postseason, the Heat are 0-6 when losing the scoring battle in the 3rd quarter and 12-1 when they tie or outscore their opponents in the 3rd quarter.
      [+]
    The is the first time that the Heat have lost Game 1 a postseason series since last season's Conference Finals against the Bulls. Miami had won 4 straight Game 1s.
    From Elias: No team in NBA history has won a title after trailing in three different series. The Heat have now trailed in 3 different series this postseason.
    The Heat have fallen behind in a series for the third time this postseason. Miami trailed Indiana 2-1 in the Conference Semifinals, then fell behind Boston 3-2 in the Conference Finals. Each time the Heat have trailed this postseason, then have won the next game.
      [+]

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