The Heat are now just two wins away from erasing all the pain and humiliation that they experienced in last year's NBA Finals.
Despite turning the ball over nine times in the 4th quarter, the Heat somehow found a way to win an ugly Game 3. LeBron James led the way by going into attack mode all-night and finished with 8 of 10 shots at the rim alone.
Dwyane Wade said, “When he (LeBron) puts his head down to go to the rim, you have no other choice but to foul him.” And as Durant is slowly finding out, six fouls can run out very quickly when your guarding LeBron James.
"It was frustrating," Durant said. "Of course we had a good lead and they came back and made some shots. We fouled shooters on the 3-point line twice. It's a tough break for us, man. You know, I hate sitting on the bench, especially with fouls."
Coach Scott Brooks may have to move Thabo Sefalosha over to LeBron because it’s becoming more and more apparent that Kevin Durant cannot and should not guard LeBron James. Durant is his own worst enemy. Durant has never struggled with his own shot, but he has struggled to stay on the floor because of foul trouble.
Wade said that LeBron’s “just a totally different player” compared to last year. Asked what the difference between this year and last year is, and LeBron replied, “I told you guys, last year I didn't make enough game-changing plays, and that's what I kind of pride myself on. I didn't do that last year in the Finals. I'm just trying to make game-changing plays, and whatever it takes for our team to win, just trying to step up in key moments and be there for my teammates."
Game 4 is now a must win for the Oklahoma City Thunder. No team in NBA history has ever rallied to win the Finals after trailing 3-1. In fact, teams with a 3-1 lead have won the Finals 30 out of 30 times.
If the Thunder don’t want to become another statistic, they must get a big showing from their Big 3. In Game 3, Durant and Westbrook had 4 points a piece in the 4th quarter, while James Harden had 9 points the entire game. If the Thunder are going to make any noise in the Finals, they must keep Durant out of foul trouble and make the proper plays in the 4th quarter to even up this series once again.
If not, the Heat will continue to rise in Oklahoma City.