Durant leads Thunder to Game 1 win
The Associated Press June 12, 2012 11:12PM
Updated: July 14, 2012 6:41AM
OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant scored 17 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter, Russell Westbrook added 27 points and 11 assists, and the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied from a 13-point deficit to beat the Miami Heat 105-94 on Tuesday night in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
LeBron James, still chasing his first NBA title in his third MVP season, shined through three quarters and blew past Durant head-to-head several times before the Thunder switched their defense.
James ended up with 30 points — the most he’s ever had in three trips to the finals — but it wasn’t enough with Durant taking over late.
Durant made six of 10 shots in the fourth quarter to power the Thunder ahead after they had trailed until their final possession of the third quarter.
Game 2 is Thursday night in Oklahoma City.
Stern pleased with NBA season, but still tweaking: Commissioner David Stern believes the NBA is need of some tweaking even after following the black eye of the lockout with a better-than-expected regular season.
The first forum for change will come next Monday, when the competition committee will discuss ways to try and eliminate flopping for the sake of drawing a foul and to consider whether to expand instant replay.
“Flopping almost doesn’t do it justice,” Stern said Tuesday just prior to the start of the NBA Finals. “Trickery. Deceit designed to cause the game to be decided other than on its merits. We’ll be looking at that.
“We’ll be looking at a number of things that make it easier for us to say to our fans what we all know to be true: our referees want to get everything right.”
Stern celebrated success that was “better than we could have hoped for” out of a season that was in jeopardy of even happening and said fans showed their admiration for the league in record numbers.
It concludes with a marquee matchup in the finals, pitting three-time MVP LeBron James and Miami against three-time scoring champion Kevin Durant and Oklahoma City.
“It’s really very exciting, and it’s going to be, we think, a great matchup, and America is very interested in getting to it,” Stern said.
So, what more could Stern hope for?
Well, there are still some remnants of the labor dispute — so-called “B-list” items that still must be taken up. Deputy commissioner Adam Silver said that won’t take place until after the finals.