The 2012 NBA Finals are largely known as the high profile match-up between two of the NBA's brightest stars -- perhaps even the biggest. LeBron James of the Miami Heat and Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder have led their respective teams against each other every night so far in this championship series, and the results have been exactly as expected. Someone had to take charge in game three, and LeBron did exactly that with a strong performance that might help him shake the monkey from his back.
James has taken a lot of slack since The Decision to move to Miami with Dwyane Wade, but winning a title would go a long way toward answering his critics. Last night's tremendous display of 29 points and 14 rebounds on 11 of 23 shooting was the sort of strong performance at home his team needed at the right time.
As for Durant, he went for 25 points and 6 rebounds himself, but it clearly wasn't enough. An early first quarter deficit happened again, but the missed free throws were simply too much down the stretch.
Durant will have another chance to redeem himself soon enough and this might come down to Game 7 in the end. It's a fitting match-up that's great for business and fans of the NBA.
For more on this game Thunder fans should check out Welcome To Loud City and Heat fans should visit Peninsula Is Mightier. For more news and notes from around the NBA head over to SB Nation's NBA Basketball page.