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2012 NBA Finals, Thunder Vs. Heat: Kevin Durant Was Fouled By LeBron James, Still A Good Shot

Mike Prada makes really good points about Kevin Durant's baseline pull-up attempt to tie the score at the end of Game 2, and how even though Durant was fouled by LeBron James, it wasn't exactly the defining moment in Miami's 100-96 victory to even the series, 1-1.

It's hard for any team to expect to win after giving its opposition an 18-2 advantage from the start, even if the giving team is as talented as the Oklahoma City Thunder. But OKC is relentless, most definitely.

One reporter asked Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra after Game 2 if he felt lucky getting the win, considering Miami only outscored the Thunder in one quarter - the first, when OKC conceded that 18-2 advantage from the start.

Of course it's important to keep in mind the operative concept of quarters is FOUR. So you can't play three really good ones and not show up for one entirely. This much the Thunder know.

What speaks to how incredible this series is: OKC still could've won Game 2, and could've easily lost Game 1 since it was so eerily similar to Game 2. We really don't know where we are in this series in terms of favorites and underdogs based on what we've seen.

Miami has come out strong in both games, with Shane Battier playing the unlikeliest role of the x-factor perimeter spot-up shooter/defender. And had this ridiculous stat on how much better Battier's been shooting 3s at home than on the road in these playoffs.

No one anticipated saying, hearing or reading this prior to the Finals, but dare tell it: the Battier situation is a potential problem.

Not to mention LeBron James doesn't seem to be having any trouble living up to the moment so far as a consistent 30 point scorer, almost automatic, although known to make the extra pass with playmaking skills unrivaled by anyone in this series.

The Thunder take a while to get going offensively, allowing Miami to take the first punch and dictate the pace of the game, especially Thursday night.

Tempo has been everything in these first two games. The Heat were able to slow OKC's tempo with shot-making and a better defensive effort in Game 2. It's easier to D up on a team when they have to take the ball out of the net before setting the offense up.

Think about it: How was the Thunder supposed to score all of those fast break points with Battier draining 3s and Dwayne Wade not clanking it quite as bad (Wade had just one more shot attempt in Game 2 than he did in Game 1, but made three more shots)?

OKC lost the game way before that last shot where James did in fact foul Durant.

What's going to get brushed over because of Durant's popularity is the fact that he still had a really good look at what should've been not just a game-tying bucket, but yes, a three-point play attempt from the free throw line as well.

As frail as he is, Kevin Durant has no weaknesses in his game. He has unlimited range on his jump shot. His length, athleticism and ball-handling ability make him deadly in isolation or fastbreak situations.

But if this championship series is going to contribute to the debate on whether Durant or James is the game's best player, Durant has to be strong enough to make that an AND 1 play.

The foul call was missed and that's the ref's fault. The shot also fell short, and that's Durant's fault.

Read more about the Thunder at Welcome To Loud City.