Last Thursday, the resilient Miami Heat tied the NBA Finals series, 1-1. Now the series has traveled to South Beach, where the Thunder hope to steal a victory in the first of three road games.Just as they did in game 1, the Heat took an early double-digit lead in game 2. Whereas OKC closed the gap in game 1 and emerged from the locker room an entirely different team, that was not the case in game 2, as the gap proved too wide to bridge this time.

A rally late in the second half eventually brought the Thunder within two points, but it was just not enough, and the Heat walked—or likely strutted—out of Chesapeake Energy Arena with a 100-96 victory.


The moral of this series? OKC has to get off to a better start. No more double-digit deficits in the first eight minutes.

Despite some rocky starts as of late, Thunder head coach Scott Brooks will not change his starting lineup. Many have wondered if Sixth Man of the Year James Harden would get the start in game 3, over Kendrick Perkins. But with the starting lineup of Westbrook, Sefolosha, Durant, Ibaka, and Perkins having won 13 of 17 playoff games so far, Brooks doesn’t see the need for a change. When the series is tied and you’re heading into a three-game road stand, it’s not the time to be making major changes to your lineup. Brooks did say, though, that it’s “important to have a good start and a good finish.”

The coaches know that, the fans know that, and of course the Thunder players know that. But is knowing enough? Will the Thunder start strong in South Beach and reclaim the series lead? Tune in to ABC tonight at 7:00 p.m. to find out.

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