NBA Finals Game 4 Prediction: Oklahoma City vs Miami
Monday, June 18, 2012
For LeBron James, redemption stands just two victories away. James and the Miami Heat have a 2-1 lead in the NBA Finals and can move within a win of capturing the title as they host the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 4 on Tuesday night.
James has been sensational so far in the series, dominating at the offensive end while frustrating Thunder superstar Kevin Durant in the process.
Durant will need to stay out of foul trouble if Oklahoma City hopes to even the best-of-seven.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Durant has played fewer minutes than he is accustomed to over the last two games, thanks to some rare foul issues. Durant picked up his fourth foul in the third quarter and was forced to the bench just as the Thunder appeared to be taking control of the game. Sure enough, the Heat fought back from a 10-point deficit and Durant was unable to put together yet another fourth-quarter rally as the Thunder dropped their second game in a row. "It's a tough break for us, man," said Durant, who finished with 25 points. "You know, I hate sitting on the bench, especially with fouls."
Miami Heat: He has been called a turncoat, a prima donna and a choker - but James has managed to shrug off the haters and is putting together one of the best postseason performances in memory. He took over when the Heat needed him down the stretch, scoring 29 points and adding 14 rebounds. James has put together 13 straight games of 25-plus points so far in the postseason, looking as strong as he did in capturing the regular-season MVP award. "Last year I didn't make enough game-changing plays, and that's what I kind of pride myself on," he said. "I didn't do that last year in the Finals."
1. Of the last 12 NBA Finals tied 1-1 after two games, the team winning Game 3 has gone on to capture the title 11 times. The only exception: Last year's championship, when Miami was up 2-1 against Dallas but lost the final three games.
2. The Thunder have connected on just 36 percent of their shots from 15 feet or further. They shot 45 percent from that range in the conference finals against San Antonio.
3. Heat F Shane Battier has 11 3-pointers through the first three games, tying Rashard Lewis for the most through three games in Finals history.
NBA BASKETBALL PREDICTION: Heat 94, Thunder 89.
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