In the last 25 years, the only players with 43 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists, were Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal. After tonight, we can now add Russell Westbrook to that last.
We can also add Russell Westbrook to the same list as Chris Webber, for biggest mental lapses in Championship games.
With only 13 seconds left in the 4th quarter, but 5 seconds left on the shot clock, Russell Westbrook intentionally fouled Mario Chalmers when it was still a one possession game.
Westbrook said, "Just a miscommunication on my part. Nothing I can do about it now.''
Call it youth, call it inexperience, or just call it one mental mistake, but the Thunder failed to win a winnable game. Meanwhile, the Miami Heat have looked like a veteran poised team, showing their composure even after LeBron sat out the last minute of the game with a cramp.
Coach Erik Spoelstra said, "Four or five plays. That's what this series is coming down too. This is incredibly competitive."
And it was the Miami Heat who made the 50-50 plays tonight, be it a Shane Battier tip, a Mario Chalmers lay-up, or Norris Cole hitting a couple 3’s early in the game, the Heat had different players step up at different times to win Game 4 of the NBA Finals.
It is also the reason why they will eventually be the 2011-12 NBA Champions. Teams that go down 1-3 in the Finals are 0-30 historically. While it’s very possible that the Thunder may win the next game, if history repeats itself - and it almost always does - it may be too little too late.