The Miami Heat created a lot of memories in the 2012-13 season and will look to continue to do the same as they enter a season in which they can three-peat as NBA champions. There is nothing wrong with reliving some of those moments that got the team motivated to capture its second straight NBA title. This week at MiamiHeat 101.com we are looking at the five most memorable games over the course of last season in order to get fans all giddy for what could be in store for 2013-14.
AmericanAirlines Arena had the feel of a playoff game in December, quite like it was the aura of a Game 7.
Miami came out on fire beginning the game on a 7-0 run capped off by Mario Chalmers finding LeBron James for a dunk in transition. They were itching to silence the critics who doubted their championship style despite the dominance from LeBron James and company in the final four games of the Finals.
Though the Heat jumped out to an early 11 point lead, the Thunder would not give up. Oklahoma City would rely heavily on their superstar to get them back in the game. Kevin Durant played much of the game with a chip on his shoulder willing his team back in the game in the second half. Finally, he gave his team its first lead at 56-55 in the third quarter after hitting a tough fading shot over James and Udonis Haslem drawing a foul as he fell out of bounds.
The teams would be on the seesaw for much of the third quarter as the Heat kept the Thunder close by getting timely 3-pointers from Chalmers and Ray Allen. Chalmers scored 20 points, waiting until Christmas Day to have his best game of the season as he put the team up 61-58 shortly after Durant gave Oklahoma City a lead. Allen connected on a 3-pointer of his own to put Miami ahead 72-70 late in the third.
Tempers started to flare up just one minute into the fourth quarter after Dwyane Wade lost the ball and he and Shane Battier had to chase down Russell Westbrook. Battier and Wade both swiped at Westbrook on a fast break and the Thunder guard took exception by rising and bristling up at Wade. Serge Ibaka stood up for his teammate and took the technical foul. Wade was also assessed a technical for his actions.
Down the stretch, the Heat did just enough to stop the Thunder’s flurry. Durant tried to will his team back into the game cutting their deficit to 96-95 with under a minute remaining. Moments later, James found a cutting Chris Bosh for the slam dunk to stretch the Miami lead to 98-95. Durant hit a jumper before Allen hit both free throws leaving Oklahoma City down 100-97.
Durant missed a game-tying 3-point attempt after being contested by James. After a long rebound was tipped to Westbrook by Kendrick Perkins, the Thunder had one final opportunity. Westbrook took a 3-pointer falling away while absorbing a hit to the arm by Wade that could have been called a foul. While Westbrook and Perkins argued for a call, the Heat had put the finishing touches on the Finals rematch.
Durant’s 33 points and seven rebounds were not enough and neither was the 21 dropped by his sidekick Russell Westbrook. Both had a chance to give their team a chance to tie in regulation but could not convert.
James finished the game with 29 points, nine assists and eight rebounds while Wade contributed 21 points. It was the bragging rights that James could hold over his good friend Durant after another classic matchup.
Tune in tomorrow to see which game comes in at No. 4 on the list of most memorable games of 2012-13.
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