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Recap | Box score
MVP: LeBron James continues to shave away the public perception that he's unable to handle high-pressure games. James finished with 29 points on an efficient 11-23 shooting, pulled down 14 rebounds, and outscored Kevin Durant in the fourth quarter.
Defining Moment: Down four with 16.2 seconds left, Thabo Sefolosha inbounded the ball to Russell Westbrook in the corner. Unfortunately, Westbrook had begun a sharp cut upwards, and the ball landed squarely in Dwyane Wade's hands. Wade hit both free throws, sealing the game.
X Factor: Free throws. In a close game late, the free points gifted earlier in the game take on monumental importance. Unfortunately for the Thunder, nine missed free throws -- seven in the second half -- made those final moments that much more difficult.
Keys To Game 3
How important is a win in Game 3? In NBA Finals series that are tied at one game apiece, the Game 3 winner has gone on to win the title 85.3 percent of the time. Here are some key factors that could decide this critical game:
In the Thunder's Game 1 win, OKC outscored the Heat 56-40 in the paint, the second-most paint points allowed by the Heat in a playoff game in the Big Three era. Seven players scored from inside 5 feet for the Thunder, led by a postseason-high 14 from Russell Westbrook and 10 from Kevin Durant.
In the Heat's Game 2 victory, Miami had a 48-32 advantage in the paint, the Heat's second-largest paint points margin this postseason.
LeBron James was 9-of-16 in the paint in Game 2, and all but one of his 10 made field goals came from that range. Dwyane Wade also attacked the basket more in Game 2, going 3-of-7 from inside 5 feet after making just 1 of 4 shots from that area in Game 1.
D-Wade's Slow Start Problem
Something's up with Dwyane Wade.
At 30 years old, Wade is in the midst of one of the worst postseasons of his career. His PER is down from 26.3 last postseason to 22.1 this postseason, his lowest rate since his rookie season (minimum five games). He's not quite old enough at this point for us to attribute his precipitous drop-off to a natural decline.
His sore left knee might be the culprit. Before Game 2 of the Indiana series, Wade had his knee drained because of fluid buildup due to inflammation. Although Wade won't publicly admit the severity of his knee issues, he is regularly exhibiting a slight limp on the floor.
There's something peculiar going on with his in-game splits that might have gone unnoticed by the casual fan.
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ESPN NBA analyst Jon Barry says Dwyane Wade was better in Game 2 and it took pressure off of LeBron James. Shane Battier has also been a key for Miami.
Westbrook Not Tweaking Play
MIAMI -- Russell Westbrook has been the NBA Finals' most polarizing figure so far, and he has no intention of changing that, or his game.
Westbrook has drawn criticism for his decision-making and shot selection that has contributed to the Oklahoma City Thunder falling behind the Miami Heat in the first halves of Games 1 and 2.
ABC analyst Magic Johnson said Westbrook had one of the worst performances for a point guard in the Finals that he'd seen, after the Heat built a 17-point lead in the first half of Game 2 en route to a 100-96 win, evening the series at 1-1.
"I'm not making no adjustments, regardless of what anybody says," Westbrook said Saturday before the Thunder's practice. "I'm going to play my game regardless of what happens."
Westbrook is averaging what would seem like an impressive 27 points, eight rebounds and nine assists in the Finals, but it's his 40 percent shooting on a team-high 50 shots in the first two games that's garnered more ire. Kevin Durant, who is shooting a remarkable 57 percent in the Finals, has taken eight fewer shots.