Mario Chalmers propels HEAT to Commanding 3-1 Series Lead
By: Pedro Heizer
Mario Chalmers is no stranger in big games, and he proved it yet again in one of the biggest games of his career.
Behind Chalmers’ huge fourth quarter, the Miami Heat find themselves one win away from their second NBA Championship, and the first since the Big Three joined forces nearly two years ago.
LeBron James led Miami with 26 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds, but it was the play of Mario Chalmers that may have been most key for Miami. Chalmers finished with a postseason-high 25 points on 9 of 15 shooting and with James on the bench late in the game, Chalmers hit a driving layup that put the Heat ahead by five with under a minute remaining.
For the Thunder, Westbrook scored 43 points, who wasted an early 17-point lead but were never out of the game. Kevin Durant had 28 points and James Harden continues his disappointing series, finishing with eight points on 2-of-10 shooting.
Give a lot of credit to this Thunder team, they came out of the gates blazing going up by as many as 17, but the solid play of rookie Norris Cole, Mario Chalmers, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade helped the experienced Miami Heat team beat the younger and less experienced Oklahoma City team in the long run.
Miami got a big scare in the fourth quarter as LeBron James hit the ground on a drive and just laid there in pain. Miami regained possession in the next play on a blocked shot, and James made a short jumper that made it 92-90. After that, the Heat called timeout and James was carried to the sideline by a pair of teammates.
He came back to a huge roar from the Miami faithful and was able to hit a dagger three pointer, which was his last play of the game as he sat down the last 55 seconds of the game dude to leg cramps.
The Miami Heat now find themselves one win away from the NBA Title, “We’re excited about the opportunity to have a chance to play for (the title). We know at the same time that we have to stay the course and there’ll be an incredible amount of noise on the outside and we have to focus on staying in the moment,” said coach Spoelstra after the game.
Mario Chalmers added, “From now on it’s all business, we need to take care of business on Thursday and then I’ll be all smiles”.
Game MVP: Mario Chalmers
No other word can describe what Chalmers did for the Heat tonight but clutch.
“Mario Chalmers is a winner, he was due for a big game and he came through for us,” said Wade about Chalmers’ huge game.
12 of Chalmers’ 25 points were in the fourth quarter and Chalmers scored 5 points in the last 44.6 seconds of the game to seal the deal.
LeBron messed around and nearly got a triple-double. James finished the game with 26 points, 12 assists, and nine rebounds.
No debate that the biggest of LeBron’s 26 points was that three pointer from the top of the key right before he came out in the fourth to give the Heat the lead for good.
Tough Night: James Harden
The current Sixth Man of the Year continues his disappointing NBA Finals debut with eight points on 2-of-10 shooting, but he did have 10 rebounds, so I guess that’s the silver-lining.
Stat of the Night: 30
No team has ever come back from a 3-1 deficit in the Finals. Teams with a 3-1 lead are 30-0.
Miami is up 3-1 and will go for the NBA Championship on Thursday night here in Miami.