NBA Finals betting: Oklahoma City Thunder at Miami Heat, Game 3
After suffering their first home loss of these playoffs, the Oklahoma City Thunder have relinquished the role of NBA Finals favorites. And Miami is a 3.5-point WagerWeb.com favorite for Sunday’s Game 3 in south Florida.
The Thunder have started slow in both games in this series and it cost them in Game 2 as they never could quite rally from an opening 18-2 hole. LeBron James scored 32 points, got a disputed late-game big defensive stop on Kevin Durant and the Heat held off a furious fourth-quarter rally to tie the NBA Finals at one game apiece.
James was 9-of-16 (56.3 percent) in the paint in Game 2, and all but one of his 10 made field goals came from that range. Sixteen of James’ 22 field goal attempts (72.7 percent) came from the paint in Game 2, compared with 50.0 percent (12-of-24) in Game 1
Dwyane Wade rebounded from a poor opener to add 24 points and Chris Bosh had 16 points and 15 rebounds in his return to the starting lineup for the Heat, who snapped a four-game Finals losing streak with their first victory since Game 3 against Dallas last year. Bosh started after coming off the bench in every game since returning late last round from his nine-game absence with a strained lower abdominal muscle. The Big Three joined Battier and Mario Chalmers in the lineup, the first time Miami had gone with that first five all season.
The Heat were +14 and shot 54.3 percent from the field with LeBron, Wade and Bosh on the court together in Game 2. In Miami’s Game 1 loss to the Thunder, the Big Three were outscored by 11 points in the 26 minutes they played together.
Durant scored 32 points for the Thunder but missed a short jumper with 9.9 seconds left after appearing to be bumped by James. The basket would have tied a game the Thunder trailed the entire way. Russell Westbrook finished with 27 points, eight rebounds and seven assists but shot 10-of-26 from the field. James Harden added 21 but OKC’s supporting cast combined for just 16 points on 5-for-20 shooting. The Thunder were one win shy of tying the record for the longest home winning streak in a single postseason in NBA history.
OKC lost its lone regular-season trip to Miami this year, 98-93. Durant had two shots late to tie the game and missed both. He also had a career-high nine turnovers.