If the Thunder want to win the 2012 NBA championship, they're going to have to do something never accomplished before.
With Tuesday night's 104-98 loss in Miami, OKC is in a 1-3 hole in the series, from which no team has ever come back in the NBA Finals. Teams down 1-3 in the finals are 0-30 all-time.
Russell Westbrook scored 43 points on 20-for-32 shooting, along with seven rebounds and five assists. But it was a late foul that many people will be talking about. With 17 seconds left and Miami leading by three, the teams had a jump-ball. Miami won the ball with a few seconds remaining on the shot clock. Westbrook thought the shot clock reset, so he sent Mario Chalmers to the free-throw line rather than letting the Heat take what likely would have been a difficult shot.
Chalmers hit both free throws and the Heat held on for the win. After scoring a total of 17 points in the first three games, Chalmers had 25 in Game 4.
LeBron James didn't play the final few possessions while sitting out with some sort of leg injury. He finished with 26 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds. Wade scored 25 for the Heat.
From 4:09 remaining in the third quarter to the end of the game, only Westbrook and Kevin Durant scored for the Thunder. Durant finished with 28 points on 9-for-19 shooting. The inability of a third scorer to step up hurt OKC. James Harden often is that third player, but he scored just eight points on 2-for-10 shooting. However, he did grab 10 rebounds.
The Thunder trailed 90-83 with 7:35 to go, but went on a 7-0 run to tie the game. They took a 94-92 lead with 4:20 to go with James out of the game. But James returned, Chris Bosh tied the game on a layup and James hit a three to give the Heat the lead for good.
Now the series moves to Game 5, where the Heat will have a chance to win the championship and get the giant, public monkey off their back. The young Thunder will just be hoping to head back to OKC with a game to play and take things from there.