Game 5 NBA Finals Free Prediction: Oklahoma City vs Miami
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Tuesday night, he overcame a brand new challenge as leg cramps left him in severe pain in the waning moments of a 102-96 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
James is expected to be in the lineup Thursday as he aims for his first career NBA title when the Heat entertain the Thunder in Game 5.
Oklahoma City Thunder: A 43-point performance by Russell Westbrook still wasn't enough to lift the Thunder to victory, leaving them needing three straight wins to secure their first NBA championship. No team in league history has ever rallied from a 3-1 deficit to prevail, but superstar Kevin Durant says his team won't quit until the Heat clinch the title. "We're going to keep fighting," he said. "Frustrating to lose like that. It was just frustrating. But we're going to keep fighting, man. That's how we've been since I got here. We're going to keep fighting and just take it a possession and a game at a time."
Miami Heat: Miami fans were spooked when guard Dwyane Wade got up favoring his back after hitting the court hard earlier in the night. He was fine, but James was not after falling during a drive to the basket and limping around until he was finally subbed out. James suffered cramping in both legs that limited his effectiveness, but he still knocked down a pivotal 3-pointer and doesn't expect to be hobbled in the Heat's first crack at a series win over Oklahoma City. "You had to play with an intensity that you had nothing left," Heat coach Eric Spoelstra said. "He didn't. He was playing at an incredible pace."
1. Westbrook joined Rick Barry as the only players 23 or younger to score at least 43 points in a Finals game. Barry reached the mark three times.
2. James has scored at least 15 points in the paint in all four games of the Finals. He didn't reach that total in any of the six Finals games last year against Dallas.
3. Thunder G James Harden has a bruised left hand but is expected to remain in the lineup for Game 5. Harden is shooting just 35 percent in the Finals.
NBA BASKETBALL PREDICTION: Heat 101, Thunder 99.
- NBA Basketball Picks & Tips: Oklahoma City Thunder at Miami Heat
- NBA Finals Game 1 Predictions: Miami Heat vs Oklahoma City Thunder
- Las Vegas Free NBA Picks: Oklahoma City Thunder vs Miami Heat
- NBA Las Vegas Betting Odds: Oklahoma City Thunder at Miami Heat
- NBA Finals Odds: Miami Heat Win the 2012 NBA Championship