The 2012 NBA Finals: Free Throws Help the Heat Win

LeBron James bullied his way into the paint early and often.
He only made 2 baskets outside of the paint.
(Photo by Associated Press)

#layups/dunks #nojumpers
LeBron James and the Miami Heat started strong and aggressive. They were very physical in attacking the paint in the first quarter. The Heat got an early lead on the Thunder again due to all the layups and dunks that the Heat received due to their spectacular ball movement. The Heat started the game with 3 dunks and 2 layups as they were relentless in their penetrations and low post plays. They finished the first quarter scoring 20 of the 26 points in the paint and only getting one jumper. It was a good start for the Heat but they were in a funk when it came to outside shots. They could not make any jump shots at all. LeBron finished with 2 shots made outside the paint while Bosh and Wade did not make any jumpers. If the Heat made some of their outside shots, this could have been a blowout.

#5fouls #freethrows
For the 2nd straight game, Kevin Durant battled foul trouble as he picked up his 4th foul midway of the 3rd quarter and he finished with 5 fouls again. Some of his fouls could have been avoided by resisting reaching in during fast breaks. His fifth foul was the right call by the referees because Durant was just a tad slow in drawing the charge and he got called for a blocking foul. Durant needs to play smarter and safer to avoid being stuck on the bench on a crucial time. The Heat made their comeback run when he and Westbrook were on the bench. Meanwhile, the Heat feasted on fouls and free throws. They made 31-35 foul shots and they were shooting at around 85% as a team in the Finals. The Thunder is tops in free throw percentage but they have struggled in the Finals shooting in the low 70s. In Game 3, they missed 9 FTs, going for 15-24.

Kevin Durant had 5 fouls for the second straight game and
had to miss significant  minutes during the 3rd quarter
(Photo by Getty Images) 
#uglygame #turnovers
This was an ugly game for both teams, filled with missed shots and turnovers. The Heat shot a measly 38% while the Thunder shot 43%. The teams combined for 29 turnovers with most of those happening in the fourth quarter. Miami alone had 9 turnovers in the 4th as Wade (mosthly him) and James started piling up the miscues due to isolation plays and too much dribbling. Kevin Durant did not explode in the 4th quarter as he managed only 4 points in the final frame while Chris Bosh missed his last 8 shots. James Harden struggled all night long with his shot, going 2-10 plus he committed a bad foul during the last 15 seconds of the game. The low-scoring games favor the Heat since they are a "grind it out" team and they have superb team defense. The Thunder will have a very difficult time trying to win games if they don't score over 90 points.

#Heat3 #Thunderup
LeBron played better than Durant, Wade was more effective than Westbrook and Bosh outplayed Harden. The Heat 3 scored the last 15 points for Miami in the fourth quarter. When the Heat 3 outscore the Thunder 3, it's a good bet that the Heat would win the game. Wade and James played heavy minutes (45 and 44) but they were still able to play excellent defense albeit they committed a bunch of turnovers. Wade played the whole second half and he shot a low percentage going 8-22 and he made 4 turnovers during the 4th quarter. He almost lost the game for the Heat at the end, again. Luckily, Westbrook could not hit an open trey. Shane Battier continues to be hot from three while Chalmers played awful going 1-8 with 2 points.

#Tweets of the Night

If Harden didn't try to flop there, that would've been a no-call. He did it to himself.

No brain All beard


  • Bosh had another double-double while Perkins had his first in the finals
  • Thunder shot 4-18 in treys, Heat 4-13
  • Heat with the edge on rebounds +7 and fast break points +7
  • Battier 11-15 in threes for the series
  • Durant is the only player shooting over 50% in the series
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