Oklahoma City was staring at a possible 3-0 deficit going into Game 3 against San Antonio in the Western Conference finals. But Scott Brooks' young Thunder team bounced back by winning four straight against the Spurs to advance to the NBA Finals.
Tonight at the American Airlines Arena, the Thunder will try to replicate some magic from their previous series by looking to even things up at two games apiece.
Oklahoma City squandered a 10-point third quarter lead and had a chance to win the game in the fourth quarter, but a series of misplays especially Thabo Sefolosha's bad inbound play did them in.
Brooks, however, is confident despite the fact that once again public sentiment might be that the Thunder are too young and inexperienced to come back from this one.
You know, this is another great opportunity to show what becoming a champion is all about. You know it's not something that ever has come easy. Every team that has won a championship has earned the right to be champions.
- Derek Fisher, Oklahoma City Thunder Guard
“We know we were down 2-0 against San Antonio, and everybody thought the series was over. But I know our guys, they're very competitive, they're very resilient," Brook said after yesterday's practice. "They've always showed that type of effort every game, and we've always been a great bounce-back team."
If they are looking to even this up tonight they will need their star duo to stay out on the court. Kevin Durant picked up his fourth foul and missed the last 5:41 of the third quarter and right after that Russell Westbrook joined Durant on the bench as Miami went on a 15-3 run.
Durant and Westbrook need to do what they do on offense and defense, remaining aggressive while avoiding fouls.
Derek Fisher can attest to what championship teams go through and and in times of adversity what they need to do to snap out of a funk.
“You know, this is another great opportunity to show what becoming a champion is all about. You know it's not something that ever has come easy. Every team that has won a championship has earned the right to be champions,” Fisher.
“And so we're faced with another opportunity again (tonight) to come together as a team and be confident in who we are and figure out a way to come out here and win a game," Fisher added. "You know, things turn a great deal in these series with one game, and we have the opportunity to turn it (tonight).”
Miami can sense it is close to a second NBA title and can improve those chances by getting that 3-1 lead. They were up 2-1 in last year's Finals against Dallas and then it all fell apart.
LeBron James and company are ready for Game 4 at home this time around.