Thunder quiet early, then is mighty in second
Oklahoma City wasn’t blinded by the lights of the NBA’s brightest stage Tuesday night. Sure, the Thunder didn’t get off to an ideal start in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, falling behind by as many as 13 in the first half, but the deficit wasn’t because of stage fright.
“Those guys, they came out on fire,” Kevin Durant said of the Miami Heat. “They were passing the ball well, knocking down shots. We just wanted to keep playing. It’s a long game.”
Once Durant, Russell Westbrook and company were able to settle in, Oklahoma City did what it’s done throughout the postseason: Wear teams down.
“I guess being in the Finals, we were kinda nervous,” said Durant, the game’s high scorer with 36 points. “It took a little while to get the jitters out of us and settle down.”
The Thunder did that against the Los Angeles Lakers and more impressively against San Antonio, coming back to win four straight in the Western Conference final after losing the first two games of the series.
The winning streak is up to five after taking down the Heat 104-95. Game 2 is Thursday night back in Oklahoma City at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Oklahoma City outscored Miami 58-40 in the second half. Together, Durant and Westbrook combined for 41 points after the break.
“Honestly, I think we just came out with a lot more intensity on the defensive end. Made them feel us a little bit,” Westbrook said.