The Thunder Took Control Of Game 1 Thanks To An Outstanding Team Effort
After clawing their way back from a double-digit deficit in the first half, the Thunder went on to claim Game 1, 105-94. And the final true offensive possession for OKC managed to sum up the game, and the team, perfectly. Pat Riley was not amused. Seriously, look at that guy.
Sure, Kevin Durant was outstanding, leading the way with 34 points and eight boards. And Russell Westbrook chipped in an impressive 27 points and 11 assists. But what won this game for the Thunder was a complete team effort, particularly on the defense. After allowing 54 points in the first half, OKC clamped down and gave up just 40 the rest of the way. Swarming team D, and some incredible individual efforts -- such as that of Thabo Sefolosha -- kept the Heat down while the Thunder rose to the occasion.
And though it happened on the offense, no play encapsulated this mindset more than the last true OKC possession -- before all the fouling and other late-game nonsense. Including the inbounds pass, every Thunder player touched the rock, and it ended with a monster slam by a role player (Nick Collison, for the record). Team play like that, as the Mavericks proved last year against this same Miami foe, will win you a championship.
Video and cap by CJ Fogler
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