Chicago Sun-Times

Magnificent 7: LeBron outduels Durant in Game 3

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

The seven players who made the biggest impact on Game 3 of the NBA Finals:

1. LeBron James, Heat

Outplayed Kevin Durant in crunch time to take another step toward erasing his reputation for going soft in the fourth quarter. Scored six of the Heat's final 10 points, including a free throw with 16 seconds left that gave Miami an 89-85 lead. Finished with 29 points on 11-of-23 shooting, with 14 rebounds.

2. Kevin Durant, Thunder

Scored 25 points on 11-of-19 shooting, but his fearless desire to defend the Heat's best players got the best of him. Durant scored four points after picking up his fourth foul with 5:41 left in the third quarter and two missed free throws with the Thunder trailing 76-75 in the fourth. Has to play smarter.

3. Dwyane Wade, Heat

Though James is starting to carry this team on his back, Wade is still invaluable when the going gets tough. His momentum-breaking baskets with the Heat down 60-51 and 67-62 in the third quarter can't be overlooked as a difference-making factor. Finished with 25 points on 8-of-22 shooting, seven rebounds, seven assists.

4. Russell Westbrook, Thunder

The Thunder live and die with the mercurial point guard and they seem to do both in every game. Westbrook had a chance to put the hammer down after a 14-2 run gave the Thunder a 60-51 lead. But he missed two shots and had two turnovers and scored five points of his 19 points (8-of-18 shooting) in the final 18 minutes of the game.

5. Shane Battier, Heat

The veteran ''glue guy'' played his defense/charge-taking role to the hilt and provided the ultimate in offensive efficiency with nine points on two field-goal attempts. Hit two three-pointers to improve to 11-of-15 on threes for the series, and made three free throws when he was fouled on another three-point attempt.

6. Chris Bosh, Heat

Third-wheel didn't have the greatest of double-doubles (10 points on 3-of-12 shooting, 11 rebounds), but still played a key role in the fourth quarter. Beat three Thunder players to an offensive rebound that led to a James basket that gave the Heat an 86-79 lead with 2:16 left. Hit two free throws with 1:19 to go to give the Heat an 88-85 lead.

7. Kendrick Perkins, Thunder

Maligned former Celtic regained visibility in this series with 10 points (3-of-5 shooting) and 12 rebounds, including six on the offensive boards, in 34 minutes. But he scored only two points in the second half and wasn't a factor defensively in the final 5:59, when the Heat scored four times in the lane to pull out the victory.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL:

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Mark Potash published on June 18, 2012 10:46 AM.

Magnificent 7: LeBron outduels Durant in Game 2 was the previous entry in this blog.

The Heat is On: LeBron James 'should be fine' for Game 5 is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.