If a team wins, they're heroes and lauded for all the reasons they beat the opposing team. If a team loses, they're chided and analyzed for what went wrong. But the reality of a competition is that someone has to win and someone has to lose. Despite an effort that Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said he was proud of, the Thunder lost to the Miami Heat 104-98 in Game Four and their chances of winning the 2012 NBA Finals are next to zero.
"Sometimes it comes down to a couple of plays," Brooks said. "I think our guys have played with great poise and composure all year. They made a few extra plays down the stretch."
The Thunder played a close game and even had the lead in the fourth quarter, but the hot shooting from three-point range by the Heat kept Miami out front. Despite the strong performance by Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook with 43 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds, the team is now down three games to one -- a deficit no team has ever overcome in the NBA Finals.
"Russell got off to a great start and he finished the game with the same type of tenacity," Brooks said. "That guy competes every time. He’s all about the team, he cares about his teammates. He gives everything he has. He never misses a practice, never missed a game in four years and I’m proud of the way he played. Quite frankly I’m proud of the way our team played."
For now people might shake their heads and find ways to slam the Thunder, but sometimes it's simply about one team playing better than the other. That's what the Heat are doing right now and it might say more about Miami than it does OKC.